Location

Chicago, Illinois

Session Start Date

4-29-2013

Session End Date

5-6-2013

Abstract

River piers were constructed during the later part of 19th and early part of 20th centuries to handle increased marine freight traffic in the coastal regions of the United States. The sub-structure of these piers, commonly referred to as “finger-piers”, was usually constructed with a timber deck relieving- platform supported by timber piles. These platforms were used to support either earth-fill and/or concrete arch supports, which in turn provided structural support for the main floor. Most of the piers also had superstructures, usually truss-supported roof with columns, and a railroad siding. Many existing piers on the Delaware River in Philadelphia and the Hudson River in New York harbor are examples of this kind of piers. These piers are now being increasingly refurbished as site for new uses including condominiums, storage warehouses, cruise terminals and other waterfront developments. These new uses require evaluation of the available structural and soil load capacity of existing foundations. Additionally, a number of historical monuments are supported on timber piles. Current load capacity of these piles also is of interest to the engineers. For the study presented herein, the laboratory testing program consisted of strength tests on specimens sawed from full size pile segments submerged in river water for about 100 years. Tests consisted of compression parallel to grain, compression perpendicular to grain and radial specimen. For comparison, tests were also conducted on new pile specimens. Additionally, deck and pile core samples were also tested. The specimens were prepared and tested in accordance with the provisions of ASTM D 143-52 for small clear timber specimens. Significant strength and modulus of elasticity losses were observed. This paper summarizes the methodology of a comprehensive investigation of evaluating current condition of existing Piers, structural strength and soil capacity of pier piles, typical results and experience of the author in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Seventh Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

4-29-2013

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2013 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM May 6th, 12:00 AM

Evaluation of Timber Pile Supported Marine Piers

Chicago, Illinois

River piers were constructed during the later part of 19th and early part of 20th centuries to handle increased marine freight traffic in the coastal regions of the United States. The sub-structure of these piers, commonly referred to as “finger-piers”, was usually constructed with a timber deck relieving- platform supported by timber piles. These platforms were used to support either earth-fill and/or concrete arch supports, which in turn provided structural support for the main floor. Most of the piers also had superstructures, usually truss-supported roof with columns, and a railroad siding. Many existing piers on the Delaware River in Philadelphia and the Hudson River in New York harbor are examples of this kind of piers. These piers are now being increasingly refurbished as site for new uses including condominiums, storage warehouses, cruise terminals and other waterfront developments. These new uses require evaluation of the available structural and soil load capacity of existing foundations. Additionally, a number of historical monuments are supported on timber piles. Current load capacity of these piles also is of interest to the engineers. For the study presented herein, the laboratory testing program consisted of strength tests on specimens sawed from full size pile segments submerged in river water for about 100 years. Tests consisted of compression parallel to grain, compression perpendicular to grain and radial specimen. For comparison, tests were also conducted on new pile specimens. Additionally, deck and pile core samples were also tested. The specimens were prepared and tested in accordance with the provisions of ASTM D 143-52 for small clear timber specimens. Significant strength and modulus of elasticity losses were observed. This paper summarizes the methodology of a comprehensive investigation of evaluating current condition of existing Piers, structural strength and soil capacity of pier piles, typical results and experience of the author in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.