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December 4, 2019 ITS Money: Kevin Burlingham, P.E., G.E., PMP

Kevin Burlingham, P.E., G.E., PMP | Amec Foster Wheeler

California High Speed Rail Drilled Shaft Load Testing

The California High Speed Train Project is the first high speed rail project to begin construction in the United States. For the first segment of this project large-diameter drilled test shafts were tested to assess their capacity in the moderately cemented soils at depth along the alignment in order to provide an economical design for the production shafts. The presentation provides details on the design and execution of the test program, and the comparison of the results to standard literature design values for drilled shafts.


  • Cemented soils have higher capacities than typical soils.
  • The test program reduced the cost of production shafts by millions of dollars or about 15% of the total installation costs.
  • The cost savings from the testing was about 3 times the costs for the test shafts.

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