Geotechnical Monitoring for the Replacement of the Chickamauga Lock

Geosyntec provided a real-time geotechnical monitoring system for the replacement of the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River. Geosyntec provided a real-time geotechnical monitoring system for the replacement of the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River.

The Chickamauga Lock is a navigation lock on the Tennessee River, seven miles upstream of Chattanooga. The 80-year old existing 60-foot by 360-foot lock is no longer suitable for the larger barges now used by the transportation industry, so it is being replaced by a new 110-foot by 600-foot lock. The new lock will improve barge transport efficiency and solve structural issues caused by the existing concrete aggregate. As part of this project, Geosyntec provided geotechnical monitoring by developing, maintaining, and operating an automated instrumentation and data management system.  This system was used to enhance worker safety and verify structural performance consistent with design expectations while the lock is installed.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Geosyntec was tasked with developing, maintaining, and managing the complex geotechnical instrumentation system at the Chickamauga Lock. The instrumentation network included uplift pressure cells, in-place inclinometers (IPIs), single and nested piezometers, and automated total station surveying system.

Geosyntec also implemented a real-time monitoring program that provided immediate email and text notification if monitoring deviations triggered an alarm condition. The program reported data through radio and cellular networks to an on-site server. Once collected, data was uploaded, stored, and analyzed in the project's GIS-enabled Enterprise Database (EDB) that Geosyntec maintained. Real-time geotechnical monitoring data was made available to the project team using a cloud-based platform where data was accessed, presented, and evaluated by construction managers.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec's implemented solution provided the ability to automatically collect, read, and evaluate geotechnical monitoring data in real-time, including on mobile devices. Our monitoring system addressed worker safety considerations as a top priority. This program ensured that, in the event an unexpected situation triggers an alarm condition, workers were notified immediately, and appropriate actions were taken in a timely manner.  This system also provided a real-time data to the owner for confirming the structural performance of the current lock, and to ensure the integrity of the current lock was not compromised while the new lock being constructed.

Project Overview

  • Location: Tennessee River, Tennessee
  • Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Project Practice Areas: Geotechnical and Geological Analysis, Modeling, and Engineering
  • Type of Facility: River lock
  • Services Provided: Develop, maintain, manage, present, and evaluate complex geotechnical instrumentation system; Provide access to real-time monitoring data; Manage automated instrumentation data
  • Type of Work: Geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring
  • Company: Geosyntec Consultants
  • Governing Regulation: Federal regulations
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a specialized consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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