Engineers Australia

Yeager Airport Failure

Stability and Stress-Deformation Analyses of Reinforced Slope Failure at Yeager Airport and Lessons learnt from forensic investigations and modelling

Dr. Jim Collin and Ryan R. Berg

Construction of this 67 meter high RSS was completed in December 2006. After seven years in-service, a tension crack was observed at the top of the slope. In March 2015 this RSS structure catastrophically collapsed. This RSS structure collapsed in a compound failure mode; as the failure plane passed beneath, partially behind, and partially through the reinforced soil mass. The RSS collapse occurred after 8.3 years in-service as the shear strength along the shale-claystone foundation interface decreased and approached the fully softened strength. This webinar will cover the forensic investigation, stress-strain analysis and modelling performed, the causes of the failure and lessons learned.

This event is hosted in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Australia Section.

About the speakers

Dr. Jim CollinThe Collin Group, Ltd, President of ASCE Geo-Institute

Dr. James G. Collin, P.E., founded The Collin Group, Ltd., in 1995. He is author of the National Highway Institutes “Soil Slope and Embankment Design Manual”, “Slope Maintenance and Slide Restoration Manual”, “Ground Improvement Methods Manual,” and “Shallow Foundations Manual”. Dr. Collin is also a certified instructor for the U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration courses on Geosynthetic Design and Construction Guidelines, Shallow Foundations, Soil Slopes and Embankments, Earth Retaining Structures, MSEW and RSS Design and Construction Guidelines, Slope Maintenance and Slide Restoration, Geosynthetics, and Ground Improvement. He was recognized by NHI as an “Instructor of Excellent” in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. The Collin Group has performed over 100 investigations of geotechnical failures including MSE walls, reinforced soil slopes, shallow and deep foundations, column supported embankments, landslides, and ground freezing. Dr. Collin has been a member of ASCE since 1985. He is a fellow and a Diplomat of Geotechnical Engineering with ASCE. He is currently the president of the GeoInstitute.

Ryan R. BergRyan R. Berg & Associates, Inc

Ryan R. Berg is a registered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Diplomate of Geotechnical Engineering. Mr. Berg is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the design and construction of reinforced soil structures and in use of geosynthetics in civil engineering structures. Ryan was a pioneer in the use of geogrid soil reinforcement elements in retaining walls and steepened slopes throughout North America. Mr. Berg is a co-author of several seminal reference manuals on the design and construction of reinforced soil structures, and on the design and construction with geosynthetics. These include manuals for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and for the National Concrete Masonry Association. Ryan has been performing forensic investigations on failed reinforced soil structures over the past 35 years. This includes working with The Collin Group to investigate the 2015 failure of the reinforced soil slope at Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia.

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