UAB Medical Center West

Project Location: McCalla, AL

The UAB (University of Alabama, Birmingham) Health System is constructing a 200-bed replacement hospital to serve the residents of southwest Jefferson County, AL. The existing facility in Bessemer was built in 1964 and hospital officials believe a new facility is necessary to continue providing the highest quality health care in a patient-focused environment in upcoming years.

Russo Corporation, the projects drilled shaft contractor, partnered with LTC to conduct two “Chicago method” deep foundation tests.  In this specific type of bi-directional static load test, the hydraulic jack with a relatively small base plate is installed as close as possible to the base of an oversized shaft, to develop the necessary skin friction reaction.  The primary purpose of the tests was to validate the high unit end bearing capacity of the underlying dolomite limestone bedrock.

The test program was a success, allowing Russo to value-engineer the foundation design and minimize or in some cases eliminate the rock socket requirement of the original design.  Key to the success of the test program was conducting it very early in the project schedule (we were dodging logging equipment clearing the site while installing and testing), in order to give the engineer time to incorporate the results into a revised design.

Early morning start
7-foot diameter core barrel in action
Concreting the test shaft

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