Test Track Engineering
Client: BAE Systems
This project demonstrates CTI’s ability to provide geotechnical engineering services during both the design and construction phases of the BAE Systems Prototype Facility construction project. BAE Systems – Land & Armaments is a large vehicle manufacturer and supplier to the military including the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M88 recovery vehicle, and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs). The project included determining a suitable location and depth for a deep foundation system supporting a nearly 198,000 square-foot, 4-story facility plus associated utility lines and site improvements and an engineering evaluation and redesign of the vehicle test track. This 5-year building and test track construction project cost approximately $58.4 million. CTI was involved in both the design and construction phases of the Prototype Facility project.
During the facility design phase, CTI provided geotechnical drilling, monitoring well installation and building foundation design utilizing a drilled pier foundation system. During the construction phase, CTI provided quality construction materials quality assurance testing for site improvements, the prototype assembly/testing facility and the 4-story office building, totaling nearly 198,000 square-feet of floor space and over 450,000 square feet of parking lot and heavy-duty haul road surface. These tasks included monitoring the installation of over 200 drilled pier foundations, as well as fabrication shop and field inspection for the structural steel substructure and roof, including non-destructive testing of welds, concrete, masonry and soil density testing.
CTI provided engineering design and construction testing and inspection services for the upgrade of an existing asphalt test track built atop a sensitive environmental remediation site. The upgrade included new lanes, new pavement, and new vehicle safety barriers to accommodate a wide range of tracked and pneumatic-tired military vehicles, all while protecting the existing soil cap over buried lagoons and contaminated soil. During the design phase to evaluate and redesign the vehicle test track, CTI provided geotechnical drilling and engineering design services. CTI also mobilized a falling weight deflectometer (FWD) to evaluate existing test track conditions and designed a new test track utilizing the existing pavement and adding an additional lane width.
The Geotechnical Engineering Report evaluated subsurface strata, site contaminated fill materials, foundation soil properties including classification, consistency, strength, and compressibility, earthwork conditions, and project demands. Recommendations included a drilled pier foundation design, fill placement requirements, utility trenching requirements, pavement support guidelines, and testing and inspection procedures.
Geotechnical field investigation activities included the following:
- Hollow Stem Auger Drilling and Laboratory Testing of Soil Samples
- Bearing and Settlement Analysis for deep foundations
- Site Restoration
During the test track construction phase, CTI provided quality construction materials testing on various disciplines including:
- Bearing capacity inspection, using Housel Penetrometer
- In-place density testing, using a Nuclear Density Gauge
- Bituminous Concrete testing, using a Nuclear Density Gauge
- Structural Steel inspection, at the fab shop and site
- Drilled Pier and Grade Beam inspections
- Laboratory Testing of Concrete and Soil Samples
CTI was responsible for implementation of the Quality Control system, including field investigation, engineering, and CQA procedures. CTI provided Quality Assurance technicians to document site construction quality assurance including inspecting all aspects of the construction work, performing selected field and laboratory tests, documenting project progress meetings, scheduling geotechnical testing, and preparation of daily quality assurance reports.
CTI designed a unique, one-of-a-kind test track system to support the evaluation of the prototype vehicles at the facility. A key component of this design is a robust impact-absorbing retaining wall system in the radii of the test track to redirect the impact of tracked and rubber-tired equipment in excess of 80 tons travelling at speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour. This feature was necessary to ensure the safety of prototype operators working in the relatively confined test track site. No other test track barrier system is known to have these design parameters.
CTI coordinated with the site’s legacy owner to develop this unique system with minimal impact to the existing remedial cap above existing free-product lagoons threatening to contaminate the nearby groundwater. CTI was able to engineer the beneficial re-use of this brownfield site despite significant environmental challenges. This outcome saved the client significant capital cost, avoided environmental liability, and boosted the community stature of the facility. As a result of CTI’s quality assurance services, the construction project was completed in a safe, timely, and quality manner. Construction issues noted by CTI personnel were quickly communicated and resolved by the project team.