The California Dept. of Transportation is nearing completion of a $5-million experimental project using a plate-pile system to stabilize almost 2 miles of embankment at an interchange near Colusa, Calif. Caltrans officials say the method may shave $3 million off the cost of a conventional method. Caltrans is using a proprietary system in which steel plates are affixed to poles, or piles, and inserted into stable strata underlying loose soil, transmitting the slide forces downward to the stiffer material. The technique has been used on several municipal projects but is a first for Caltrans, says Richard Short, founder and president
Arch dams, classically curved monoliths situated in narrow valleys, are not as common as other types of dams, such as embankment dams and gravity dams. ENR takes a look at some of the biggest arch dams in the world, both completed and under construction.