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Structural Assessment of Aging Timber Piles on the Banks of the Mississippi

Author(s): MARK R. CHAUVIN and ARNE P. JOHNSON


Source: APT Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 2/3 (2013), pp. 15-22
Published by: Association for Preservation Technology International (APT)
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Structural
on

the

Assessment
Banks

of

of
the

Aging

Timber

Piles

Mississippi

MARK R. CHAUVIN AND ARNE P. JOHNSON

Knowledgeofthetypicalperformance
and deterioration
mechanismsfor
timberpiles,combinedwiththe
strategicuse of modernscientific
testingand analysismethods,was
used to assess the expected
ofa railroadstructure
performance
supportedby historictimberpiles in
Saint Paul,Minnesota.

Introduction
structures
are supported
Manyhistoric
foundations.
The condibytimber-pile
tionofthetimberpilesis generally
to assess,since
unknownand difficult
are buriedbelowgrade.
theseelements
In somecases,buriedtimberpilesmay
remainin good conditionafterhundredsofyearsofservice.In othercases,
or even
theymayhavedeteriorated
Thiscase studyillustrates
disintegrated.
how advancedmethodsoffieldtesting
and engineering
analysiscan be usedto
evaluateagingtimberpilesstillin service,withthegoal ofsavinghistoric
intervention.
structures
and minimizing

trainstationsconmanyimportant
acrosstheUnitedStates.The
structed
ofrecordwas the
structural
engineer
ToltzEngineering
Company.The proand
jectincludeda headhousebuilding
as
an elevatedtrack-deck
structure, well
strucas a concourseand waiting-room
moveturethatfacilitated
passenger
The track
mentbetweenthosefeatures.
deckoccupiedsix acresand accommodated20 railroadtracks(Fig.1).
Declineand Revitalization

UnionDepotwas a veryactivetrain
themidstationfrom1926 through
1960s.Atitspeakin the1920sthere
and 20,000
were282 trainmovements
The UnionDepot in Saint Paul
serveddaily.As therailroad
passengers
era declined,trainserviceceasedin
The UnionDepot railroadterminal,
1971, and theUnitedStatesPostalSerlocatedalongthebanksoftheMissisvice(USPS)subsequently
acquiredmost
sippiRiverin downtownSaintPaul,
In 1978 the
ofthetrack-deck
structure.
between
Minnesota,was constructed
USPS reconfigured
thetrackdeckintoa
1917 and 1926. The architect
was
the
center,
postaldistribution
removing
of
CharlesSumnerFrost,thedesigner
ballast,railroadtracks,and platforms.
In 1974 UnionDepotwas listedon the
NationalRegister
ofHistoricPlaces.
RamseyCountyRegionalRailroad
itsacquisi(RCRRA)finalized
Authority
in2009. RCRRA's
tionoftheproperty
thefacility
and
visionwas to rehabilitate
transit
andtranscreatea multi-modal
SaintPaul.
hubin downtown
portation
theelevatedtrack
RCRRAenvisioned
Amdeckonceagainaccommodating
withcomtrakpassenger-rail
services,
muterand high-speed
raillinesa future
goal.The raillineswillbe integrated
withfacilities
forintracity
andtransit
vehicles,
taxis,and
buses,passenger
all on thesurfaceoftherehabicycles,
bilitated
trackdeck.
a designRCRRAcommissioned
buildteamto perform
therehabilitation
work.1The initialphaseoftheproject
Saint
dateunknown.
oftheRamsey
north,
Paul,Minn.,
County includeddetailedcondition
Fig.1.Union
Depot,
looking
Courtesy
assessments
Historical
Society.
15

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16 APTBULLETIN:
JOURNAL
OF PRESERVATION
TECHNOLOGY
/44:2-3,2013

ofthetypical
ofthetrack-deck
unless
structure.
Fig.2. Section
geometry
Images
bytheauthors,
otherwise
noted.
oftheheadhouse,
trackdeck,and concourseandwaiting-room
structures
to
define
a scopeofnecessary
for
repairs
eachelement.
WissJanney
Elstner
was
retained
to assesstheexisting
track-deck
structure.2
ofthedepotrehaFeasibility
bilitation
theexisting
hingedon whether
concrete
and timber-pile
superstructure
foundations
had sufficient
capacityor
couldbe effectively
repairedto reliably
theanticipated
loadsfora
support
desiredservicelifeof50 years.

mumdesignbearingcapacityofeach
timber
as 20 tons.The
pilewas specified
timber
were
as being50
piles
reported
filland "outlyfeetlong,driventhrough
ingmuck"to riversand.4No additional
information
was availableregarding
the
as-builtgeometry
ofthetimber-pile
or thediameter
and wood
groupings
of
the
timber
species
piles.
Signs ofDeterioration

90 yearsofexposureto
Approximately
a harshnorthern
climatehad takena
Track-Deck
Structure
tollon theconcreteelements
ofthe
Thetrack-deck
whichmeatrack-deck
structure,
superstructure.
Multiple
suresapproximately
areasofdeterioration
werepresenton
250,000 square
feetinplanarea,consistsofa flat21thetrackdeckand thecolumnsthat
inch-thick
reinforced-concrete
slab supareasofcrackit,including
supported
600 circular
portedon approximately
ing,spalling,corrosionofthereinforcconcrete
columnsand variousperimeter ingsteel,and freeze-thaw
damage.
concrete
walls.The columns
The deckexhibited
botretaining
widespread
and retaining
wallsaresupported
on
tom-side
deterioration,
particularly
concrete
below-grade
pilecaps and
alongexpansionjointsand at exposed
of
timber
Fourteen
Deterioration
at
groups
piles(Fig.2).
edgesofthestructure.
timber
thedecktopsidewas suspected
but
pilessupporttypicalpilecaps;
24 or 30 timber
sincethedeckwas coveredby
unknown,
pilessupportthepile
3 feetofoverburden.
caps belowboththetrackdeckand
overheadconcoursestructure.
In total,
Loss oftimber-pile
was also
integrity
thetrackdeckis supported
on approxiFromtheirpastexperience,
suspected.
thegeotechnical
and structural
mately9,000timber
piles.
engineers
to
articles
on
the
team
believedthatthe
According magazine
pubproject
lishedduringthecourseoftheoriginal
ofthetrackdeck
originalconstruction
thetrackdeckand its
construction,
predatedthecommonuse ofpreservafoundations
weredesigned
tive-treated
timber
timber-pile
pilesintheMinforCooperE-60 trainloading,with25
Paul area byapproxineapolis-Saint
addedforimpact.3
The maxipercent
mately10 years.In addition,a limited

structural
assessment
ofthetrackdeck
performed
byothersfortheUSPShad
exposedonetimber
pilethatexhibited
significant
decay.Therefore,
significant
the
concernwas warranted
regarding
of
the
unand
future
integrity
existing
treatedtimber
piling.
Becausethetimber
pileswereconcealedbelowgrade,theextentand
deterioration
ofthetimber-pile
severity
acrossthesitewas difficult
to ascertain.
Visualinspection
ofa substantial
percentageofpileswas notfeasibledueto
thehighcost,in bothtimeandmoney,
associatedwiththeexcavationoftest
(NDT)
testing
pits.Nondestructive
ofthe
to facilitate
assessment
techniques
or
timber
from
a
at
position
piling
but
abovethepilecapswereconsidered
notused.Although
certainNDT techniquesmighthavebeenableto locate
theendsofthepileswithinthepilecaps
or ground-penetrating
(e.g.,impact-echo
theirlength(e.g.,
radar)or to estimate
no NDT
seismic
methods),
parallel
or reliably
methodsexistedto practically
evaluatethecondition
and remaining
oftheburiedtimber
structural
integrity
piles.
an investigation
Therefore,
planwas
information
devised
to
obtain
carefully
thetimber-pile
foundations
regarding
thatwouldallowreasonableengineering
fuanalysisand conclusions
regarding
The primary
tureperformance.
objective
ofthisworkwas to evaluatewhether
the
ofthepileswas aderemaining
strength
quatefortheanticipated
designloads
overthedesired50-yearservicelifeof
therehabilitated
track-deck
structure.
ofTimberPiles
Investigation
foundations
Timber-pile
continuously
belowthewatertabledo not
submerged
degree
generally
decayto a significant
overtimedue to theoxygen-starved
natureoftheirenvironment.
However,
thathavenot
foundations
timber-pile
beentreatedwithpreservatives
maybe
vulnerable
to decaywhenthewater
tableis belowthetopsofthepiles.All
oftheingredients
to promote
necessary
wood-decayfungi namelymoisture,
oxygen,and a suitabletemperature
couldbe presentat and abovethewater
line.Deterioration
oftimber-pile
foundationscan occurin suchsettings.

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TIMBERPILES 17
ASSESSMENT
OF AGING
STRUCTURAL

viewofexcavation
for
testpit1.
Fig.3. Overall
Two generaltypesoffungicause
ofwood:typicalbrowndeterioration
andwhite-rot
fungi
fungiand soft-rot
relatedto molds.Brown-andwhite-rot
fungiarethemostcommontypesof
strucdecayobservedin above-grade
tures.Becausetheyrequirehighmoisinthewood (typically
turecontent
and sufficient
above20 percent)
oxygen,
do
brown-andwhite-rot
fungitypically
in
notoccurinwood thatis submerged
wateror burieddeepbelowgrade.
However,
theycan exhibitrapidgrowth,
themore
andthustheyaretypically
forms
offungi.Soft-rot
destructive
fungi
levelsand
can tolerate
highmoisture
so theycan be more
requirelessoxygen,
inwood thatis submerged,
significant
verywet,or belowgrade.Bacterial
can also occurinwood that
degradation
in
thereduction
is submerged;
however,
to
action
is
usudue
bacterial
strength
allyminorcomparedto theothertypes
above-water
timber
ofattack.5
Although
pilecan also'be degradedbyinsect
thisformof
attack,suchas termites,
attackwas notexpectedto be an issuein
thecoldclimateofMinnesota.
was organizedinto
The investigation
stepsthatallowedinformasequential
and contionto be collected,
reviewed,
taskswere
sideredbeforethesubsequent
ofthework
The chronology
performed.

is detailedbelowand consistsofsix
siteconditions,
tasks:reviewing
inspectexposing
ingforevidenceofsettlement,
and inspecting
timber
piles,conducting
load testing,
fieldand laboratory
pera wood-pathology
analysis,and
forming
structural
and statistical
performing
was carried
The
analyses. investigation
to April2010.
outfromJanuary
Task 1: reviewingsite conditions.
ofthesitewere
Geotechnical
surveys
conductedto definethegeneralposition
ofthewatertablerelativeto thetimber
in
generalpatterns
pilingand to identify
that
conditions
thesoil or groundwater
moreor lesspotentialfor
mayrepresent
decayin certainzonesofthe
timber-pile
site.6
elevationwas
The groundwater
highest
alongthenorthedgeofthetrack
to thesouth
deck,gradually
lowering
the
towardtheriver.
Bycorrelating
withthe
elevations
water-table
reported
itwas
pile-capelevations,
specified
estimated
thatthetop2 to 12 feetofthe
above
timber
pileswerelikelypositioned
thewatertable.However,theposition
ofthewatertablewas also knownto
fluctuate
seasonallywiththeelevationof
River.Floodingofthe
theMississippi
in standing
wateron the
riverresulted
and souththe
south
roadwaysalong

structure
westedgesofthetrack-deck
on manyoccasions.
thesoilsalongthe
Boringsidentified
the
siteas a preof
southern
portion
material
loose
and
granular
dominantly
(sand)at and belowthepile-capelevations.Decayoftimber
pilesis more
soilconditions
thanin
likelyingranular
cohesivesoilsbecauseofthepotential
moismoisture
forincreased
exposure,
and greater
turefluctuation,
oxygen
concentrations.
structural
As notedabove,a limited
ofthetrackdeckwas perassessment
in 1991 byothers.Two small
formed
testpitswereexcavatedat thenortheast
cornersofthetrackdeck
and southwest
ofthiswork.7The
as a component
at thenortheast
timber
exposed
pile
to be
cornerofthedeckwas reported
no evidenceof
soundand exhibited
thetimber
pileexposed
decay.However,
cornerofthedeckwas
at thesouthwest
absent."
as "90 percent
characterized
In summary,
ofthe
interpretation
thatthe
surveys
suggested
geotechnical
piles
topregionsofall ofthetimber
to decay.Thetimber
werevulnerable
pileslocatedalongthesouthsideofthe
to
siteappearedto be moresusceptible
to
to
the
north
due
the
than
piles
decay
thelowerand morevariablegroundwaterelevationandthemoregranular
soiltypesinthatregion.Thishypothesis
ofthe
was supported
bythefindings
workat thesite.
pasttest-pit
Task2: inspectingforevidenceof
settlesettlement.Areasofexisting
careful
distress
warranted
ment-related
as theymayindicate
consideration,
below.
deterioration
possibletimber-pile
visual
both
such
To identify
areas,
any
were
and elevationsurveys
inspections
ofthe
acrosstheunderside
performed

from
a
ofa woodcoreremoved
Fig.4. Example
timber
pile.

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TECHNOLOGY
OF PRESERVATION
JOURNAL
/44:2-3,2013
18 APTBULLETIN:
The RCRRAhad allottedforthe
excavationofthreetestpitsforthe
the
assessment.
Considering
timber-pile
vastsizeofthetrackdeck,theselection
ofthelocationsofthesethreetestpits
andcritically
was a highly
strategic
exercise.
important

andtheanticipated
thetestpitlocations
track
design
deck,
illustrating
Depot
Fig.5. PlanoftheUnion
rehabilitation.
loadsfollowing
to
trackdeck.Thisworkattempted
low
locateanystructure
distress, spots,
in
abruptchanges,or unusualgradients
elevationthatmaysuggesttimber-pile
below.The surveymeadegradation
conwereusedto generate
surements
elevatourplotsofthedeck'sunderside
the
with
which
were
correlated
tion,
visualinspection.
ofthetrackdeck
Thevastmajority
was foundto be level,withno evidence
settlement.
offoundation
However,
withsettleconditions
consistent
distress
mentwerefoundinthreeparticular
cornerofthe
zonesofthesouthwest
to the
track-deck
structure,
proximate
recorded
a
river.
The elevationsurvey
verysharpdownwardslopeofthetrack
deckineachoftheseareas.Thesemeawerecorroborated
surements
byfield
condiofstructure-distress
observations
with
were
also
consistent
which
tions,
The distress
foundation
settlement.
widecracksinthetrackdeck,
included
walls,andcolumndroppanels
retaining
at certainjoints
offsets
andlargevertical
inthedeck.
Task3: exposingand inspectingtimberpiles.Testpitswereexcavatedto
groupsoftimber
exposerepresentative
extendedbelow
piling.The excavations
thepilecaps to exposethefullcircumofthetop 3 to 4 feetofthe
ference
timber
pilesalongtheoutersidesof
piercaps (Fig.3). This
neighboring

construcworknecessitated
temporary
the
measures,
including
tion-safety
oftrenchboxeswithinthe
installation
excavationsand tensioned-cable
sling
tiebacksto bracethedeckcolumns.
tasks
Withineachtestpit,thefollowing
wereperformed:
Documenting
thesize,position,and
ofexposedtimber
visualcondition
piles.
Awlprobingand drill-resistance
at multiple
positionsalongthe
testing
exposedpileheightto evaluatethe
the
and to quantify
wood'sintegrity
of
depths decay.
Coresampling,
from
incrementally
exsurfaceto pith,formicroscopic
to
amination
bywood pathologists
and
the
wood
presspecies
identify
ofdecayfungi
ence,type,and severity
(Fig.4). Coreholeswerefilledwith
hardwooddowels.
Removing
sectionsof
full-diameter
for
chainsaw
selecttimber
pilesby
and
testing.
pathology laboratory
collarsrestored
Reinforced-concrete
at removallocations.
pilecontinuity
Moisture-content
on representesting
tativepilesin eachpit,notingthe
soiltype.
proximate
Examining
thepilecaps at eachtest
foundto
pit,whichwereconsistently
be ingoodcondition.

oftasks
Testpit1. Basedon thefindings
1 through
3, theworsttimber-pile
conditionwas suspectedto be inthe
southregionofthetrack-deck
structure,
corner.
in
southwest
the
particularly
thissectionofthetrack
Unfortunately,
to carrytheheaviest
deckwas intended
trainloading(Fig.5). To investigate
thesecombined"worstcase" conditestpitwas locatedinthe
tions,thefirst
cornerofthetrackdeck.
southwest
timber
pileswereexTwenty-nine
posedbelowfouradjacentpilecapsin
ofthe
testpit1 (Fig.3). The diameters
theexcavation
timber
pilesthroughout
rangedfrom8 to 15 inches,withmost
between11 and 14 inches.
measuring
On thenorthsideofthetestpit,where
all 16
thesoilsweremorecohesive,
exposedpileswerefoundto be ingood
condition,
althoughprobingdetected
surfacesoft-rot
decayup to 1 inchdeep.
the
On thesouthsideoftheexcavation
werepredominantly
soilconditions
Sevenofthe13 pilesinthis
granular.
brown-rot
exhibited
decaythat
region
extendeddeepintothecrosssectionof
twopileswithmore
thepile,including

discovered
timber
piling
decayed
Fig.6. Heavily
attestpit1.

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TIMBERPILES 19
ASSESSMENT
OF AGING
STRUCTURAL

loadtesting
ofa timber
pile.
Fig.7. In-situ
than90 percent
cross-section
loss (Fig.
6).
structural
calculations,
Preliminary
whichconsidered
thecompletelossof
thefullydecayedpilesand a veryapofremaining
wood
estimate
proximate
at
the
other
strength
piles,suggested
thattheremaining
pile-capcapacitywas
withrespect
to theCooperEmarginal
80 designrailload oftherehabilitated
Thistestpitexposedonlya
facility.
limited
number
ofpiles;however,
the
results
oftasks1 to 3 indicated
thatthe
inthesouthwest
foundations
timber-pile
quadrantofthetrackdeckweremost
trainloadlikelynotreliableforfuture
ing.
Testpits2 and 3. The conditions
encountered
at testpit1 werediscouraga refocusing
of
ing,buttheyprompted
thetest-pit
efforts
to thenorthhalfof
thesite.The goal was to determine
whether
thetimberpilingto thenorth
couldbe relieduponto supportthe
commuter
rail,buses,and vehilighter
cleson thatsectionofthetrackdeck.
Testpits2 and 3 werepositionedjust
northoftheanticipated
heavyrail
loads,alongthesouthedgeoftheproraillines,as shownin
posedcommuter
Figure5.
timber
Twenty-five
pileswereexposedbelowsixdifferent
pilecaps in
testpits2 and 3. The diameters
ofthe
timber
from
10
to
16
pilesranged
between11
inches,withmostmeasuring
and 14 inches.All 15 pilesobservedat
testpit3 wereinverygoodcondition,
lessthanV2inch
withprobingdetecting

loadtesting
oftimber-pile
exhibiting
decay.
segments
Fig.8. Laboratory
90,000pounds,whilethe
approximately
to
otherexperienced
littlemovement
150,000poundswhentheload testwas
that
stopped.Thesetestresultsindicated
timber
of
the
the20-ton-rated
capacity
ifnotconservapileswas appropriate,
than
tive.As such,wood decay,rather
as
was therefore
soilresistance,
targeted
theprimary
concern.
load testing
was perLaboratory
ofwood
formed
to assesstheeffect
Thetops
on pilestrength.
deterioration
ofthreedeeplydecayedpilesfromtest
pit1 and 2 wereremovedusinga chainfor
saw and shippedto thelaboratory
Task4: conductingfieldand laborafull-size
8). The specimens
testing
(Fig.
toryload testing.The capacityofa
at
werestoredin a chambermaintained
timberpileis a function
ofthewood
andtestedto
100 percent
humidity
ofthesoilto
and theresistance
strength
failureincompression
usinga load rate
bothendincluding
pilemovement,
to
that
by
specified
roughly
equivalent
The
effects.
bearingand side-friction
ofsmallclearspeciASTM fortesting
designcapacityofthetimberpileswas
Allthreedeeply
mensincompression.
in theoriginaldrawingas 20
specified
sectionswereableto supdecayed
pile
tons,or 40,000 pounds.As a compoloadsover
compression
portultimate
nentoftheassessment
work,load testand
none
100,000pounds,
experienced
in thefieldand in
ingwas performed
inelastic
deformation
(crushsignificant
to evaluatetheactualinthelaboratory
untilloadingreachedover40,000
ing)
situcapacityofthetimberpiles,evalupounds.Theseresultsprovideda qualiand soil
atingbothwood strength
tativeindication
thatpileswithdeep
resistance.
couldstillsupporttheratedpile
decay
on
Fieldload testing
was performed
significant
capacityof20 tons.However,
in
The
twotimber
situ.
objectiveof
piles
couldoccurinadvanceof
deflection
thistesting
was to evaluatesoilresisfailure.
tancefortypicalundamagedtimber
secPortionsofotherfull-diameter
piles.8The selectedpileswerelocatedin
werecutintosmall,
tionsoftimber
pile
no appre- clear
testpits2 and 3 and exhibited
andtestedincompresspecimens
ciablewood decay.A largehydraulic
The objective
sionparallelto thegrain.9
instrumen- was to estimate
ram,load cell,and deflection
of
theresidualstrength
withina gap cutinto
tationwerefitted
eachspeciesofwood in areaswithno
thepiles(Fig.7). One pileplungedat

ofsurfacesoft-rot
decay.In testpit2,
however,
deeppocketsofbrown-rot
at thetopsofthree
decaywerepresent
ofthenineexposedtimber
piles.These
decaypocketsmeasuredin excessof3
a signifiinchesdeepand encompassed
cantportionofthepilecircumference.
sixtimber
The remaining
pilesintestpit
2 wereingoodcondition,
withan average depthofsurfacedecayoflessthan1
thecondition
ofthe
inch.Although
was
found
to
be
timber
verygood
piles
ofthepilesat
at testpit3, thecondition
testpit2 was mixedand ofconcern.

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TECHNOLOGY
20 APTBULLETIN:
JOURNAL
OF PRESERVATION
/44:2-3,2013
borers,and insects.As
destroying
fungi,
noneofthepileshad been
expected,
treatedwithpreservative.
Softrotwas thepredominate
typeof
inthespecimens.
wood decaydetected
shallowor
The softrotwas generally
morethan1
superficial,
rarelyextending
inchintothepile.Advancedbrown-rot
in severalsampled
decaywas detected
all threeofthe
timber
piles,including
thatwere
full-diameter
sections
pile-top
removedfromtestpits1 and 2. The
clearsamples
fullwerecutfrom
Fig.9. Small
influenced
extentofdecaywas greatly
sizesections
oftimber
pileforcompressiveof
the
that
the
soil
all
type;
samples
by
inthelaboratory.
strength
testing
had decaydeeperthan1 inchwere
extracted
fromtimber
pilesat locations
visualindications
ofadvanceddecay.
soilappeared
wherethesurrounding
Thetestspecimens
measured1 inchby1
somewhatsandy.
inchby4 inchestallandwerelocated
The microbiological
expertsadvised
alongradiallinesofeachpilecross
ofdecaywas difficult
thatfuture
growth
section(Fig.9). An averagecompression
to predictwithaccuracydueto the
was calculated
parallelto grainstrength
in
numberofvariablesand unknowns
foreachpileusingthearea-weighted
thiscase. However,intheirjudgment,
fromcenter(inner),
averagestrengths
theyexpectedthegrowthofsoft-rot
middle,and outerzones.Thesevalues
linearover
decayto be approximately
werethenconverted
to allowablecomto the
or essentially
time,
comparable
values.10
pressive-stress
Dependingon
brown-rot
rate.The rateoffuture
past
pilespecies,thecalculatedallowable
overtime.
decaycouldaccelerate
wereapproximately
5 to 40
stresses
lessthantheallowablevalues
structural
and
Task6: performing
percent
calculatedusingcurrent
valfield
statistical
The
analyses.
published
investigaues.Thesetestsindicated
that90 years
timberpiles
tionexposed54 individual
ofexposureto moistgroundconditions
below10 different
pilecaps,or about
and a fluctuating
watertablehavereofone percentoftheapproxione-half
sultedinmoderate
strength
degradation mately9,000 timberpilessupporting
ofthewood.
structure.
The
theentiretrack-deck

smallsizeofthesamplesetwas further
variability
bytheextreme
complicated
oftheidentified
conditions,
including
from8 to 16
ranging
pilediameters
wood speciesofdisinches,multiple
strengths,
depthsof
paratecompressive
wood decayranging
fromzeroto essenloss,and
tially100 percentcross-section
withinthesametest
soiltypesvarying
all of
pit.To evaluateand contextualize
thecollecteddata,MonteCarlostatistiwereperformed
cal simulations
(a
is a computaMonteCarlosimulation
thatrandomly
tionalalgorithm
samples
distribution
ofinputted
theprobability
valuesforcertainvariablesto determine
as wellas
a rangeofpossibleoutcomes,
thatthoseoutcomeswill
theprobability
The resultsofthesesimulaoccur).11
intoa structionswereincorporated
turalreviewand load-rating
analyses.
The readeris cautionedthattheresults
on
ofthismethodarehighly
dependent
as
therefore, such,a
inputassumptions;
shouldbe
of
range possibleassumptions
studied,and thefinalresultsshouldbe
withappropriate
engineerinterpreted
ingjudgment.
thecapacityofa
Forthisproject,
orpile
column
foundation,
particular
the
cumulative
is
defined
capacby
cap,
pileson whichitis
ityofthetimber
MonteCarlosimulations
supported.
wereusedto estimate
theprobable
throughout
capacityofthefoundations
thetraindeck,withdueconsideration

Task5: performing
wood-pathology
analysis.Wood-coresamplesand portionsoffull-diameter
pilesectionswere
sentto wood pathologists
formicroA
examination.
of 15 differtotal
scopic
entpilesweresampled,including
25
wood-corespecimens
and 5 crosssectionalslices.The analysesincluded
identification
ofthewood species,
microbiological
analysesofthetypeand
of
severity anywood-destroying
fungi,
forevidenceofanybacterial
inspections
or insectattack,and reviewofthe
generalconditionofthewood'scellular
structure.
Fourwood specieswereidentified
amongthe15 sampledpiles:redpine,
baldcypress,
whitepine,and southern
All
of
the
identified
wood species
pine.
areconsidered
nondurable
exceptbald
whichis classified
as durable.
cypress,
in50years.
The
forpile-cap
Carlo
simulation
results
ofMonte
capacities
summary
Fig.10.Graphical
Nondurablewoodsdo nothavea natuatorabove
ofsimulations
which
orpercentage
thefrequency
curve
predicted
capacities
represents
shown
onthex-axis.
thevalues
ralresistance
to theactionofwood-

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TIMBERPILES 21
OF AGING
ASSESSMENT
STRUCTURAL
inthegeometry
forpossiblevariations
andcondition
ofthetimber
piles.The
ofthe54 piles
measured
conditions
examinedwreusedto statistically
thecondition
oftherestofthe
predict
9,000
unexposedtimber
approximately
piles.The objectiveoftheseanalyses
theprobability
that
was to determine
theallowablepile-capcapacitieswould
be greater
thantherequired
load demandsforboththeheavyrailload and
thelightrailand busload.
Threemainvariableswereincluded
intheMonteCarlosimulations:
the
diameter
ofa singlepile,thewood
of
speciesofthepile,andthepercent
dueto
cross-sectional
areareduction
decay.Foreachvariable,theresultsof
wereusedto developa
theinvestigation
suiteof54 possiblepilecharacteristics
thatwererandomly
combinedto create
thousands
of "virtualpiles"inthestatisVirtualpilecapswere
ticalmodeling.
combinthendetermined
byrandomly
into
thousands
of
the
virtual
ing
piles
The
of
the
virtual
groups. capacities
pile
capswerecalculatedand analyzedstatisA grouping
biaswas includedin
tically.
thesimulation
to accountforthetendencyfordecayto occuringroupsof
piles.Thecolumnswerealso checked
forpossiblebendingforcesthatcould
resultfromeccentricity
ofthecenterof
resistance
ofthepilegroup.
to evaluSimulations
wereperformed
atetheexisting
capacityofthetimber
pilingandpilecapsandwererepeated
to estimate
theanticipated
pilecapacities50 yearsfromnow.The lattersimulationwas intended
to evaluatethe
effects
offuture
deterioration
ofthe
pilingduringthelifeoftherehabilitated
The analysisofpossiblefuture
facility.
considered
a linearextrapolaconditions
tionofsoft-rot
and
decay
roughestimatesofpossiblebrown-rot
decay.
The results
ofthestructural
and
that
statistical
analysesdemonstrated
theexisting
pilesshouldnotbe relied
uponto supportheavyrailloading,
iffuture
is
deterioration
particularly
considered
The
simulations
(Fig.10).
ofthe
thatabout30 percent
predicted
supportthe
pilegroupscouldreliably
heavyrailloadingnowbutthatonly
coulddo so after50
about2 percent
moreyearsofexposure.On theother
indicated
thatroughly
hand,simulations
80 percent
ofthepilegroupscould

reliably
supportthelightrailand bus
loadingin 50 years.Becausethesereand highly
sultswereveryapproximate
on
the
assumpunderlying
dependent
ofconclusions
tions,thedevelopment
and
also requiredengineering
judgment
consideration
ofrangesforthevarious
of
and thepossibleeffects
assumptions
inaccuracies.
The readershouldnote
of
thatapproximate
analysistechniques
thistypearea toolforan experienced
to use inthecontextofa
engineer
and mightnotbe
broaderassessment
in somesituations.
appropriate

of
consisted
above.The underpinning
concretegradebeamscastacrossthe
pilecaps,keyedinto
topoftheexisting
at
theexisting
columns,and supported
Mostof
theirendson newmicropiles.
trackdeckand itsfountheremaining
dationsin thisareaweredemolished
to replicate
theorigiand reconstructed
nal historic
appearance.However,in the
the
ofthestructure,
northtwo-thirds
and
deck
was
retained
concrete
existing
the
and
timber-pile
existing
repaired,
to
wereleftundisturbed
foundations
facility.
supporttherehabilitated

Findings

Summary

ofthehistoric
structure
Basedon theresultsoftheinvestigation, The track-deck
is supterminal
railroad
Union
foundations
thetimber-pile
Depot
supporting
exThe
on
timber
ofthetrackdeck
thesouthone-third
piles.
ported aging
of
these
werenotreliableto supporttheanticitimber-pile
pectedperformance
was assessedusingknowlfoundations
loading.Foundation
patedheavy-rail
and deterior removaland reconedgeoftypicalperformance
underpinning
fortimber
orationmechanisms
struction
ofthetrackdeckwererecompiles,
struccarefulreviewofthesupported
mended.The timberpilingbelowthe
at thesite,
tureand soilcharacteristics
ofthetrackdeck,
northtwo-thirds
on a
was foundto be in somewhat
testing
however,
exposureand in-depth
limitednumberofpiles,and analytical
The resultsofthe
bettercondition.
statistical
simulations studiesusingapproximate
and statistical
investigation
methodsto estimate
indicatedthatmostofthefoundations
perlikelyfuture
allowedinThe findings
in thatnorthzone shouldhavesufficient formance.
light formeddecisionsto be madebythe
capacityto supporttheanticipated
teamand ownerregarding
for
the
next
vehicle
loads
and
rail,bus,
design-build
therehabilitation
thereis a relatively
50 years;however,
approachand future
Thissoluofthestructure.
low riskthatcertainpilecaps willnot
monitoring
tionprovidedgreatvalueto therehabilhavesufficient
residualstrength
during
itationprojectand enabledthehistoric
thenext50 years.The consequenceof
to be
structure
fabricofthetrack-deck
wouldbe slowand
sucha deficiency
maintained
and
similar
localizedfoundation
settlement,
integrated
successfully
in thesouthwest intothenewUnionDepotmulti-modal
to whathas manifested
facility.
transportation
regionofthetrackdeck,and notsudor collapse.Accordingly,
denmovement
in
MARKR.CHAUVIN,
anassociate
principal
thatthetimberitwas recommended
served
asthe
office
ofWJE,
theMinneapolis
in thenorthern
zone be
fortheUnion
pilefoundations
Depottrackproject
engineer
Heisa structural
deckassessment.
monitored
engineer
byregularelevationsurveyevaluastructural
numerous
andhasperformed
columns,and that
ingofthetrack-deck
A recent
of
andinvestigations.
tions
project
of
remedialaction(e.g.,underpinning
5Wbridge
ofthe1-3
notewastheinvestigation
selectpilecaps) be takenshouldfounatmchauvin@
Hecanbereached
collapse.
dationsettlement
be detected.
wje.com.
CurrentStatus
Rehabilitation
oftheUnionDepottrack
deckis complete,
and thefacility
opened
to thepublicin December2012. In the
souththirdofthestructure,
underpinningwas installedat thepilecaps,
whichsupported
boththetrackdeck
concoursestructure
and thehistoric

intheNorthARNEP.JOHNSON,
a principal
asthe
ofWJE,
served
office
brook,
Illinois,
fortheUnion
Depottrackproject
manager
Hehasparticular
deckassessment.
expertise
forhistoric
anddesigning
repairs
evaluating
stadiums
historic
several
structures,
including
He
across
thecountry.
located
andmuseums
atajohnson@wje.com.
canbereached

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

22 APTBULLETIN:
JOURNAL
OF PRESERVATION
TECHNOLOGY
/44:2-3,2013
Notes
1. Thedesign-build
team
wasledbyMortenson
Construction
ofMinneapolis,
Minn.
Company
2. Wiss,
Elstner
Associates
wasretained
Janney,
thestructural
of
byURSCorporation,
engineer
record
forrehabilitation
andreconfiguration
of
thetrack-deck
structure.
3. G.H. Wilsey,
"St.PaulUnion
Station
Work
Enters
Third
Stage,"
Railway
v Age71,no.25
(Dec.17,1921):1202.
4. G.W.Wilsey,
"St.PaulUnion
DepotComThird
Section,"
pletes
Railway
Age76,no.17
(Mar.29,1924):829.
5. KrisA.Altiero,
"Evaluation
ofExisting
WoodPiles,"
WoodDesign
Focus(Summer
1996):3-11.
6.Thegeotechnical
work
wasperformed
by
American
ofSt.Paul,
Engineering
Testing
Minn.

7.The1991test-pit
work
wasperformed
for
and
theUSPSbyToltz,
Anderson
Duvall,
King,
Associates
ofSt.Paul.
ingeneral
8.Thesetests
wereperformed
accordance
with
ASTMD 1143,Standard
Test
Methods
under
Static
forDeepFoundations
AxialCompressive
Load.
inaccordance
9.Thesetests
wereperformed
with
ASTMD 143-09,Standard
TestMethods
VolumeforSmallClearSpecimens
ofTimber.
werethen
weighted
green
species
strengths
calculated
clearstrength
woodvalues
and
using
inASTM
timber
volumes
standing
published
Standard
Practice
D2555-06,
forEstablishing
ClearWoodStrength
Values.
allowable
Finally,
tograin
stresses
were
compression
parallel
foreachofthepilespecies
the
calculated
using
andproteststrengths
area-weighted
average
inASTMD2899-03,
cedures
Standard
given
Practice
Allowable
Stresses
for
forEstablishing
Round
Timber
Piles.

10.Theseconversions
wereperformed
using
inASTMD2899-03,
theprocedures
given
Standard
Practice
Allowable
forEstablishing
Stresses
Timber
Piles.
forRound
11Nicholas
andS.Ulam,
"The
Metropolis
Monte
CarloMethod,"
Journal
oftheAmericanStatistical
Association
244,no.47 (Sept.
1949):335-341.
M TheAPTBulletin
ispublished
bythe
I Association
ofPreservation
Technolaninterdisciplinary
International,
j ogy
tothepracdedicated
organization
HINTER
I
nation
al tcaj
oftheprinciples
and
application
for
the
care
andwise
useof
techniques
necessary
Asubscription
thebuilt
environment.
tothe
are
Bulletin
andfree
online
access
topast
articles
member
benefits.
Formore
visit
information,
www.apti.org.

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