Airport Improvements Subsurface Investigation and Geotechnical Recommendations

Constructed pedestrian bridge and elevator shaft from lower parking area to upper terminal building. Constructed pedestrian bridge and elevator shaft from lower parking area to upper terminal building.

McClellan-Palomar Airport is a commercial airport located in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California, serving the general aviation community, corporate aircraft, and commercial services operated by the County of San Diego Department of Public Works. The county proposed numerous improvements to the airport including construction of a new terminal building to replace an existing building, upgrading Taxiway C, adding additional aircraft parking, re-routing the existing drive aisles for the new terminal building, and construction of an elevator and pedestrian bridge from the lower parking area to the upper terminal building.

Because the airport was constructed over three unlined, inactive municipal solid waste landfills, ongoing settlement and the potential presence of methane present continuous challenges for expanding the airport's operations. As a result, the geotechnical analysis required for the proposed improvements required the careful characterization of the general nature and extent of existing fill and landfill waste deposits along the lower parking lot perimeter and their effects on geotechnical engineering design recommendations.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Geosyntec performed a geotechnical investigation and provided geotechnical engineering recommendations for the design and construction of the new structures and pavement areas associated with the proposed improvements. The geotechnical investigation included a site reconnaissance, field explorations, laboratory testing, and engineering evaluations and analyses. Geosyntec presented analyses that evaluated the site's geologic and seismic setting, the site surface and subsurface conditions, and potential geologic and seismic hazards. These analyses also evaluated appropriate foundation systems for the proposed pedestrian bridge and building structures and flexible pavement for parking and driveway areas. Our efforts also included consideration of allowable foundation bearing pressures, lateral earth pressures, anticipated soil settlements from fill placement and foundation loading, 1997 UBC seismic design parameters, excavation characteristics associated with the on-site soils and subsurface conditions, and earthwork and on-site grading requirements.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec coordinated drilling activities between multiple parties, including public and private agencies, during the field exploration phase of the project. Engineering design recommendations were provided to delineate the existing landfill on site and provide for the design of structures founded partially on and partially off the landfill.

Project Overview

  • Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
  • Client: County of San Diego Department of Public Works
  • Project Practice Areas: Geotechnical
  • Type of Facility: General Aviation Airport
  • Services Provided: Geotechnical Subsurface Exploration; Engineering Evaluation and Analyses; Geotechnical Report
  • Type of Work: Geotechnical Investigation
  • Company: Geosyntec Consultants
  • Governing Regulation: Local
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a 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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