Geotechnical services are often needed at some point in the lifespan of an infrastructure project. That point could be during the early stages of design and construction, or in the later stages of operations, maintenance, or repurposing. Overlooking the geotechnical aspects of projects can result in difficult and costly corrections, especially in Alaska’s arctic and subarctic, permafrost, and deep seasonal frost-prevalent regions.
Members of our geotechnical team have been involved with numerous projects across Alaska, from rural villages such as Pt. Lay and Bethel, to larger municipalities such as Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Barrow. PDC offers in-house geotechnical consulting services to support the geotechnical needs of our clients, as well as providing internal support to our structural, utilities, transportation, and Aviation /Planning/Environmental groups. One of our primary goals is to provide you, our client, with the information you need to make reliable, informed, decisions about geotechnical aspects of your projects.
- Field Exploration & Site Characterization
- Materials Testing
- Recommendations and Reporting
- Inspection Services
- Arctic Engineering
Field Exploration & Site Characterization
Understanding subsurface conditions that range from geologic setting, soil, and rock stratigraphy to moisture, groundwater, permafrost, and seasonal frost regimes is a critical component to the design process. Our geotechnical team has the expertise to plan, coordinate, and execute field exploration and sampling programs to obtain the subsurface information needed for your project site characterization and geotechnical design needs. Whether it is accomplished by using our in-house drilling capabilities with our CME-55 truck-mounted drill rig, or our skid-mounted CME-45 rig, or through subcontracted drilling and sampling services for projects across the state, our geotechnical team excels at exceeding client expectations.
To assist our team of engineers during the geotechnical design phases of your project, our Juneau soils and construction materials laboratory provides full- service soils, asphalt, concrete, and masonry testing in accordance with ASTM, AASHTO, and ADOT&PF standards using state-of-the art equipment. We are also equipped to provide material specification-conformance (QA/QC) testing during project construction as well as engineering data needed to support your project design. Our satellite laboratory in Fairbanks, supplemented by our full-service lab in Juneau, is equipped to perform basic soil index tests such as grain size distribution and moisture content analyses.
Recommendations and Reporting
Combining field exploration, site characterization and laboratory testing programs, our engineers are adept at developing project-specific geotechnical recommendations. They provide these services on a wide variety of infrastructure projects, while considering any geotechnical hazards known to the area. PDC’s geotechnical engineers consider the geotechnical hazards often associated with arctic and subarctic regions such as frost-susceptible soils, ice-rich permafrost, and seismic hazards including liquefaction, ground settlement, and loss of soil-bearing strength. Projects have included airfield, highway and road embankments, pavement structures, site preparation, ground improvement, and foundation recommendations for essential facilities. Our geotechnical engineers provide technical expertise and experience to develop cost-effective, constructible, sustainable geotechnical solutions which are readily communicated in clear, concise, understandable project deliverables.
Construction materials testing and special inspections ensure that your project is built per plan and with quality materials. Our engineers are familiar with the latest construction materials, methods, equipment, and other technological innovations. A thorough understanding of sampling techniques, testing procedures, verification procedures, and the application of various building materials are just a small portion of our expertise that contributes to the success of your project. Our service capabilities include:
- On-site construction inspection
- Concrete: Batch Plant, Pre-stress/Post Tension, Concrete Field Sampling
- Structural Steel: Bolting, Erection, Welding
- Asphalt: Hot Asphalt Pavement Laydown Inspection
Deep seasonal frost, continuous and discontinuous permafrost, and associated ground-ice characteristics pose unique geotechnical challenges for infrastructure projects across the cold regions of Alaska. From logistically difficult field explorations in permafrost terrain, to finite element thermal modeling, to permafrost foundation designs including refrigerated foundations, PDC’s engineers understand the unique complexity associated with permafrost environments. We are able to develop novel, creative geotechnical solutions that address any impact these potential hazards have on your project.