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Title: 15 Mile Road/Edison Corridor sewer tunnel failure study, Detroit area, Michigan
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Detroit District
United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Region V
Structures Laboratory (U.S.)
Albert, Dick
Hoff, G. C. (George C.)
Lorence, Brian
Mitchell, Gerald B.
Mlakar, Paul F.
Murphy, William L. (William Lee), 1944-
Strohm, William E.
Keywords: Case history
Structural behavior
Field control tests (soils)
Soil testing
Tunnel failures
Laboratory tests
Underground construction
Detroit, Michigan
Publisher: Geotechnical Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
NOTE: This report has been split into two parts due to its size. The file is still very large in spite of that, and will take several minutes to load. Part 1 contains the body of the report and its references. Part 2 contains tables and appendices. ABSTRACT: The study consisted of field and laboratory investigations, construction evaluation and geotechnical and structural analyses to determine the cause(s) of distress and failure of a 2600-ft. section of 12-ft, 9-in. diameter concrete-lined sanitary sewer tunnel in the Detroit, Michigan area. The work was performed at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency, Region V, Chicago, Ill. The report includes summaries of all pertinent construction records, results of all pertinent past and current field and laboratory tests on construction and geotechnical materials, and detailed geotechnical and structural analyses based on observed conditions and measured parameters. Factors that could have potentially influenced or contributed to the distress were investigated; the findings eliminated certain possible factors and identified the essential causes and mechanisms. The conclusions are limited to those which could be made based on results of the analyses and facts and evidence documented in the report. The section of tunnel that experienced distress is at a depth of approximately 65 ft. and was mined through lake- bed deposits that contain strata of silt and fine sand. The water table is normally approximately 20 ft. above the invert but was drawn down for construction. The silts and fine sands are highly susceptible to piping under even small heads. Some of the construction joints in the concrete liner were made without waterstops and concrete placement procedures were such that cold joints occurred in the liner. The tunnel was completed and placed in service in 1972; however, the distress actually began immediately following construction as soon as the groundwater level was sufficiently high to initiate piping of soil through the open construction and cold joints. This piping took place over a significant period of time. As greater loss of support occurred, the concrete liner deformed, the joints opened wider, and more soil was allowed to pipe into the tunnel. These events progressed until the distress was manifested by the crack pattern found and by total collapse at Distressed Area 1 and partial collapse at Distressed Area 3. Varying degrees of distress were experienced along the 2600- ft section depending upon the location of the strata of piping soil with respect to open construction joints and/or cold joints.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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