Monthly Technical Presentation and Dinner Meeting

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Topic:         Norristown High Speed Line Slope Stability Project

Location:   SEPTA Building Lower concourse 
                     located at 1234 Market Street | Philadelphia PA 19107 
Cost:            members $45; non-members $50; students $15 

Following the heavy rains from Hurricane Irene in 2011, the embankment along the heavily traveled Norristown High Speed Line, a commuter line in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, exhibited signs of excessive movement. In the area of the project site, the railroad is situated on a high earth embankment that borders other properties in a suburban neighborhood. Since the slope failure disrupted services along SEPTA's rail line, the bid packages were prepared (plans, specifications and engineer's estimate) in only two weeks. With SEPTA's support HNTB's geotechnical design team installed geotechnical instrumentation inside the embankment within days of the initial request to determine the extent of the subsurface failure surface and to monitor ground movement. HNTB then used the data obtained from the in-situ monitoring to determine the extent of the embankment failure, back-calculate design parameters and ultimately propose a solution to remediate the embankment failure while keeping the railroad operating. 

The use of in-situ instrumentation allowed the design team to expedite the design process and propose a solution before the results of the first laboratory soil tests were completed. To temporarily stabilize the embankment and keep rail traffic operating during construction, the use of hollow bar soil nails and reinforced steel mesh along the upper 12 feet of the embankment was proposed. This temporary soil nail solution stabilized the embankment at the track level and allowed the uninterrupted construction of the permanent solution. Additionally, a drilled shaft soldier pile and lagging wall was installed near the toe of the embankment and tied back with ground anchors designed to resist the force of the sliding embankment.  The embankment was then re-graded behind the soldier pile and lagging wall to a more modest grade to increase the overall long-term global factor of safety. With SEPTA's support and dedication of the Owner, Designer and Contractor the project was completed within 5 months with minimal impact to the rail operations.

Robert L. Lund Jr., P.E.
Assistant General Manager - Engineering, Maintenance, & Construction
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Bob Lund holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Civil Engineering from Villanova University.  He is a registered professional engineer in PA and NY.   He began his career as a Structural Engineer with Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation. He worked 19 years for the New York Power Authority in various design and management positions throughout New York State with responsibilities related to transmission line and power generation plant design and construction.  In 2001, he joined SEPTA as the Manager of the Structural Engineering and has held various positions within the organization. 

Britain Materek is a Geotechnical Engineer with HNTB working in the firms New Jersey office providing Geotechnical services throughout the eastern seaboard.  Britain's expertise lies in the geotechnical design, analysis and construction of bridge, highway, railroad, and levee projects. Britain holds a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Meeting schedule:
5:30-6:00 Social and Registration
6:00-7:00 Dinner (chicken/fish/vegetarian) 
7:00-8:30 Program

To register (REQUIRED):
Please email Khalid Shaikh at:
Tel: (215)896-6264 by 12/13/2013    

Mail check payable to SEI-Phila Chapter to SEI Treasurer Mr. John Millius, c/o AECOM
1700 Market Street, Suite 1600, Philadelphia, PA 19103
T 215.735.0832  F 215.735.0883 ,  or bring it to the meeting.

Should you decide to cancel your registration, it must be done at least three days prior to the scheduled meeting date. Any cancellation made within three days is subject to pay the full meeting rate