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Geotechnical Design Checklists

Geotechnical design features that arise in the development of roadway projects vary both in type and complexity. Cuts, embankments, wetlands, mine issues, and rock slopes are just some geotechnical issues encountered on transportation projects. Consistent and comprehensive reconnaissance, analysis, and plan preparation are necessary to ensure that all possible geotechnical issues that may occur on a project will be adequately identified and accounted for on the final plans.

A set of topical review checklists, a reference list, and a technical publications list have been developed to aid the project development personnel in their production of geotechnically sound project plans. All projects that contain geotechnical related issues will benefit from the use of this document. Although it is expected that the District Geotechnical Engineer will be one of the main users of these checklists, any personnel responsible for a geotechnical aspect of the project plan development will use this document. Possible users of this checklist include, but are not limited to, design and geotechnical Consultants and District and Central Office Planning and Production staff.

The design checklists are provided to assist the project development personnel in:

  • Developing a comprehensive geotechnical scope of services
  • Developing and reviewing geotechnical reports and assimilating information
  • Analyzing, designing, and reviewing geotechnical related aspects of a transportation project, including needs assessment, plans, and specifications
  • Recognizing cost-saving opportunities
  • Identifying deficiencies due to inadequate geotechnical investigation, analysis, or design
  • Recognizing when to request additional technical assistance from a geotechnical specialist
  • Defining areas of needed training

At first glance, the design checklist will seem to be inordinately lengthy. One, however, should not avoid using the checklist because of this. Only on major and complex projects will it be necessary to complete most of the checklist. Just those checklists that pertain to a specific geotechnical feature encountered on the project should be completed. Therefore, for most projects, only a small portion of the checklist will need to be completed.

Since several entities may be involved in the geotechnical development of a transportation project, it is possible that there may be more than one set of checklists completed for a specific project, or different entities may fill out different sections of the checklist. It is anticipated that all completed checklists will be included with the project file in District or Central Office.

To utilize the checklists,

  • First fill out the project information on the Checklist Cover tab. The project information in the headings of the rest of the checklists will autopopulate. Also indicate which checklists will be utilized.
  • Complete only the checklists that apply to the project by using the dropdown boxes.
  • Submit the checklist cover along with all completed checklists with the report and plan submission

Additional topics and questions may be added as the development of these checklists continues and input is received from the users. All additional updates, bulletins, and design guidance will be issued from the Office of Geotechnical Engineering and available online. The Administrator of the Office of Geotechnical Engineering will be the point of contact regarding the checklist, and any questions, recommendations, and training requests should be directed to the Office Administrator.