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geotechnical soil construction  

This project presented many challenges. It was a City of Philadelphia project located on a former gasoline facility. The site had been undeveloped for many years which allowed for uncontrollable dumping, in addition to being a Brownfield site. The design phase of the project started in 2007. The project began with a geotechnical investigation for the site that involved characterizing the site soils for deep foundation design and earthwork activities. Additionally, the project included infiltration testing for storm water management facilities and geothermal test wells.

Years of dumping on the site created a massive amount of debris and trash and thick layer of ash, but we were not intimidated by this additional hurdle. This project was part of the City of Philadelphia’s initiative to incorporate LEED strategies to improve the environmental health of the city. It was exciting because LEED was still fairly new at the time. The project was also going to encompass the entire site area with two large structures, storm water facilities, parking and a ground source heat exchange system (geothermal). Managing all facilities of the project required creativity, ingenuity, and a lot of hard work.

Our job was to investigate and characterize the site for geotechnical and geothermal purposes. We drilled a series of test borings, did some lab testing and analysis, and came up with some recommendations for pile foundations and pavement sections. Infiltration testing was needed to help size the facilities according to the PA DEP BMP Manual and the PWD Storm Water Guidance. In order to explore for the potential of geothermal heating, a test well needed to be drilled, a loop was instilled and the underlying rock formation was tested for conductivity to estimate heat exchange.

Was it mentioned the site was an old refinery? The soils were impacted by the refinery process making it even more challenging for earthwork and infiltration activities. We were called into action again to provide more infiltration testing in order to move the storm water facilities. They had to be moved due to contaminated soils.

Construction started in February of 2017, ten years after the initial design phase of the project began. We are still involved on a daily basis providing special inspectionsof earthwork, steel, concrete, piles, etc.

Other Infrastructure clients include:

Lanchester Landfill
Spring City WWTP
Green Lane WWTP
Rage Bulk Systems, Inc.
Elverson WWTP
United States Coast Guard
Aqua PA
London Grove Twp Bridge Replacements
Darien Street Sewer Extension
Nazareth Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP)
Berwind WWTP
New London Twp Bridge Replacements
United States Navy
Nottingham Way Bridge Replacement
Temple University
Chaple Hill Walking Trail Bridges


Fidelis Engineering, Inc. 1691 Horseshoe Pike, Suite One, Glenmoore, PA 19343
Phone: (484) 228-8241 • Fax: (484) 228-8175 • Email: info@fidelisengineering.com
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