Featured Projects

I-69 Extension – Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 – Warrick, Gibson, Pike, Daviess, Greene, Monroe, and Morgan Counties, Indiana

Responsible for providing geotechnical engineering design and construction services for approximately 133 mi of new interstate highway and intersecting local roads through six counties and for over 100 bridge structures.

  • Section 1: Over 6,500 lineal ft of exploratory drilling was performed and associated laboratory testing and geotechnical engineering design and construction recommendations were provided. Additional services included shear wave analysis using a down hole method, settlement monitoring of embankments using a remotely accessed vibrating wire settlement system and the design and monitoring of a static pile load test (both vertical and lateral) in conjunction with the design-build team.
  • Sections 2 and 3: EEI was contracted by the State to oversee the geotechnical exploratory and engineering work for approximately 80 mi of new interstate highway. Duties included managing the I-69 Interchange-1_websmallday to day operations of four geotechnical engineering consultant firms (up to 15 drilling crews) including interactions with the local population, reviewing technical reports and providing guidance for both design/build and design/bid/build contracts. EEI also assisted in the development of geotechnical seismic design criteria and policy for the state of Indiana. Additional services included one-dimensional multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) at bridge structures to determine the shear wave profile and seismic refraction in areas of rock cut to evaluate the rippability of rock.
  • Section 4: EEI served as the lead geotechnical consultant on this accelerated project consisting of design and construction of about 27 miles of roadway from east of US 231 to SR 37 on the south side of Bloomington. The proposed alignment consisted of densely forested lands on gently to steeply sloping terrain with occasional agricultural and residential areas. The project elements included approximately 28 bridge structures over roadways and creeks, large earth and rock cuts and fills, and retaining wall structures. The project required the design of shallow and deep foundations, design of embankments with heights up to about 120 ft and slopes from 2H:1V to 3H:1V utilizing soil, rock, and processed shale.  Special design considerations included, ground improvement for unstable slopes and soft ground, settlement control and acceleration, and construction in karst topography. The electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) geophysical method was used to identify and estimate sizes of karst features within the alignment.
  • Section 5: EEI participated as part of a three-firm team on this accelerated project by performing over 3,100 lineal ft of exploratory drilling. Associated laboratory testing was also provided. In addition to the geotechnical exploration, EEI also developed and performed an extensive geophysical exploration program over multiple segments. The geophysical exploration included microgravity measurements along 10,000 ft of the alignment, two-dimensional MASW profiles along approximately 3.5 miles of the alignment, and approximately 12.5 miles of ERI data profiles.

Notre Dame Hockey Arena – Notre Dame, Indiana 

Earth Exploration was the Geotechnical Engineer of Record for the construction of a new multi-use ice arena at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to a standard subsurface exploration program, pressuremeter testing was performed to confirm the use of a higher bearing capacity in the design of the foundations. During construction, EEI had over-sight of the quality assurance testing program. Construction of the roof included relatively heavy crane lifts of roof truss sections. Evaluation of the near-surface soil for support of the crane during the lifts was an integral part of completing the roof construction. The testing team worked closely with the ice floor designer to confirm floor flatness and floor levelness requirements as well as document proper concrete properties.

Slide Correction, Old Lock and Dam Park – Newburgh, Indiana

This project consisted of an approximately 40-ft high and 400- to 500- ft long terraced slope at the Old Lock and Dam Park in Newburgh that had historically experienced considerable distress. EEI directed the services of a local surveyor to perform a topographic survey of the area of the slide that included about 5.3 ac. Subsequently, we performed exploratory test borings into the underlying rock, installed piezometers and inclinometers to further delineate the geometry of the sliding mass and performed laboratory testing. We then prepared a geotechnical evaluation including several alternatives for correcting the sliding mass with regard to risk and certainty of performance. Upon completion of the evaluation and selection of the alternative by the owner, EEI performed design for a drilled shaft “curtain” in addition to a network of extensive subsurface drainage. The entire corrective measure was constructed with a finished grade that “hides” the structural and drainage elements. Subsequently, we provided field engineering and materials testing during construction.

Brush Creek Reservoir Dam & Spillway Improvements – Jennings County, Indiana

The 2000 ac-ft reservoir (at normal pool) was formed in 1953 via construction of a 45-ft tall and 400-ft long earthen (both soil and rock fill) embankment. The project included improvement of the high hazard structure to safely pass 100 percent of the probable maximum precipitation (PMP) in addition to seepage control associated with karstic features in the limestone foundation and abutments. Project features included construction of a second spillway (acting as an emergency spillway) that had a combined capacity with the existing spillway to safely pass the PMP and placement of up to 40 ft of soil and rock fill on the downstream face of the embankment to improve stability. This project was the first IDNR project to utilize a design-build contract method.

Ethanol Production Facilities – Posey and Vermillion Counties, Indiana

These projects included the construction of new facilities for the production of ethanol. Involvement included preparation of geotechnical scope and fee proposals, management of geotechnical field activities, analyses, and reporting. Field activities also including pressuremeter testing in areas of anticipated moderate widespread loads (bins and silos). This activity provided a better understanding of the engineering characteristics of the soil which lead to more sophisticated settlement estimates and the use of ground improvement for support of mat and/or ring foundations, where necessary, in lieu of more costly deep foundations.

Ohio River Bridges, Sections 2 through 6 – Clark Co., IN and Jefferson Co., KY

Geotechnical Engineering Services

EEI performed geotechnical services for the design-build team for Sections 3 (Downtown Crossing) and 6 (East End Crossing) of the Ohio River Bridges project. Our services included exploratory soil and rock sampling, laboratory testing and geotechnical analyses and recommendations. Geotechnical challenges included high embankment fills over relatively deep buried valleys of near-normally consolidated clay, substantial rock cuts (incorporating rock joint mapping to aid in stability analyses), over 30 MSE walls, and over 30 bridge structures supported on spread and deep foundation elements. Our scope also included review of shop drawings.


EEI performed the installation of instrumentation to monitor movements related to the construction of a tunnel south of the Ohio River in Section 4 (East End Crossing). The instrumentation included several piezometers, multipoint borehole extensometers, inclinometers, surface monitoring points and geophones. The installation involved several methods including the use of large steel casing and varying conditions including soil and rock. Challenges included scheduling field work, supplies and instrumentation in collaboration with ongoing construction.

Exploratory Field Services

EEI performed test drilling primarily from a barge for Section 2 (Downtown Crossing) and Section 5 (East End Crossing) which included two bridges over the Ohio River. The test drilling was performed to confirm the competency of the rock for the drilled shaft foundation designs. For the most part, temporary steel casing was used through the water and soil column at which point rock was cored using NX-sized equipment. The work was performed through water depths approaching 40 ft and over 1,700 ft of rock was cored. Challenges included rough waters due to barge traffic and heavy flows after precipitation events in the presence of a lock and dam immediately downstream.

Indiana Historical Society – Indianapolis, Indiana

Responsible for performing a geotechnical evaluation and providing construction materials testing and observation services for a new building in downtown Indianapolis. Foundation design recommendations were provided that produced significant savings to the project. Spread footings with relatively high bearing pressures were successfully used to support the structure while limiting settlements for the framing and archive retrieval systems. This design was developed after performing several specialized in situ tests including the use of a pressure meter.

New Indianapolis Airport – Indianapolis International Airport

EEI performed geotechnical evaluations and construction materials testing and observations for nearly all of the air-side features of the project. More specifically, geotechnical evaluations were performed for the concourses, aprons and elevated roadway (arrival area). 5-22-06 019_resizedConstruction materials testing services were performed during construction of the south and north aprons grading, drainage and paving; apron duct banks; Taxiway R and Taxiway H improvements; and hydrant fuel system.