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  • 07 Technical

    Journal Papers 099 – 119

  • Welcome to the seventh edition of the Atkins Technical Journal which has been given a refreshed appearance, but continues to showcase the impressive breadth and depth of the excellent technical solutions we offer our clients. A gratifying aspect of this edition is that our authors come from a full staff cross section of Graduate Engineers through to Directors with a seamless blend of quality.

    This edition demonstrates the extent to which we are leading research to push back the boundaries of codes of practice and drive innovation. Sometimes this research is to facilitate more reliable decision making, such as the need to better understand how ground movement associated with the construction of new tunnels impacts on existing tunnels in congested urban environments. Frequently our research is targeted at generating more sustainable solutions for our clients, such as the use of fabric formwork for concrete structures (being investigated with Bath University) which allows shaping of beams to follow the flow of force and eliminate unnecessary material. However, when adherence to codes of practice is required, we have experts who understand their background and can apply them to most efficient effect, as is illustrated by our geotechnical teams’ expertise in UK and European geotechnical standards.

    Asset Management represents a growing share of what we do and we have an impressive array of projects showcasing our abilities to prolong the efficient service life of infrastructure. The use of forensic engineering, advanced analysis and remote monitoring techniques on projects like Runway 9/27 Houston, Texas and the Midland Links Viaducts in the UK (co-authored with the Highways Agency) are two examples amongst several within this Journal.

    Of course, the environmental aspects of sustainability are not forgotten in our projects and the consideration of protection to a wide range of natural environmental features and habitats are covered in this Journal, including those for newts and badgers.

    I hope you enjoy the selection of technical papers included in this edition.

    Chris Hendy Network Chair for Bridge Engineering Chair of H&T Technical Leaders’ Group


    Forew ord

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    C ontents

    Technical Journal 7 Papers 099 – 119

    Asset Management

    99 Rehabilitation of runway 9-27 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, TX) 5 100 Fatigue management of the Midland Links steel box girder decks 13


    101 The use of "off the shelf" data with limited integrity in a safety critical avionics environment 23 102 The application of high pressure water mist as part of a holistic fire fighting system 29 Geotechnical

    103 Update on new and future earthworks standards in the UK and Europe 41 104 Lightweight backfill materials in integral bridge construction 47


    105 Safety governance of complex highway projects 55 106 Monitoring the use of badger tunnels on highways agency schemes 59

    Intelligent Transport Systems

    107 M4 J24 – J28 VSL: modelling and calibration 63

    108 Motorway-to-motorway: a potential technological solution to motorway congestion 67 Structures

    109 Load capacity rating of an existing curved steel box girder bridge through field test 75 110 Wind loads on steel box girders during construction using computational fluid dynamic analysis 83 111 The design and construction of Cliffsend Underpass 93 112 Concrete structures using fabric formwork 97


    113 Adit mining in high permeability, interbedded sandstone, Red Line, Dubai Metro 107

    114 Assessment of ground movement impacts on existing tunnels 113

    Water & Environment

    115 Mineral extraction alongside great crested newts 121 116 Bank stabilisation by redirective structures on the Santa Clara River, Ventura County, CA. 125 117 The Olympic Park – a biodiversity action plan in action 133 118 Long term modelling at the East and West Flower Garden Banks 2004-2008 137 119 Risk and uncertainty in hydrological forecasting 143

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    A sset M

    anagem ent


    A combination of finite element method (FEM) analysis, traditional pavement design methods, and forensic analysis can reveal information about a pavement’s history and its future performance that cannot be determined with traditional evaluation methods alone. Engineers and researchers recently applied this three-tiered approach to the rehabilitation of Runway 9/27 at Houston Airport System’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The results of the investigation demonstrate the utility of a new generation of tools for site- specific pavement evaluation and rehabilitation design and suggest a change in the way engineers approach these projects in the future.

    For Runway 9/27, the investigative team had to discover the root causes for crazing, tearing, and shoving of the asphalt at the landing areas and high- speed exits. Using X-ray computed tomography, the relationship between air void and crack distributions was evaluated from core samples and the distresses observed in different runway areas. The results revealed high air- void content consistently at a depth of approximately 3 inches, indicating a point of separation or slippage boundary.

    Based on the forensic evaluation and FEM analysis, investigators concluded that the distress in the pavement was likely due to high shear stresses resulting from the braking and cornering action of aircraft and to the geometry of the asphalt layers. The synergistic effects of a stiff, polyethylene binder, oxidative aging in the top inch of the pavement, and the high, near- surface shear stresses all resulted in shoving and crazing.

    Ongoing advances in computer technology open the door for the development of increasingly sophisticated programs to analyze pavement conditions, allowing for more cost-effective, yet more thorough, investigations.

    Deficiencies in the traditional pavement analysis approach can be mitigated not only by supplementing the investigation with forensic analyses to determine causes for apparent distress, but also by using three-dimensional FEMs to analyze relationships between weak interlayers (identified on the basis of visual examination), shear stresses, and permanent deformation.

    Typically, airports demolish airfield pavements at the end of their 20 year design lives and build new ones. In contrast, by deploying forensic engineering practices, airports can save costs, expedite construction, and mitigate the environmental impact associated with pavement replacement.

    Rehabilitation of Runway 9/27 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas


    Justin P. Jones Vice President / Business Sector Manager

    National Aviation Group

    Atkins North America

    William G. Stamper Senior Engineer

    National Aviation Group

    Atkins North America

    Adil Godiwalla Assistant Director of Aviation

    Design & Construction Division

    Houston Airport Systems

    Jim Hall Senior Principal Engineer

    Applied Research Associates, Inc.

    Vicksburg, Mississippi

    Dallas Little Snead Endowed Chair in Transportation Engineering

    Civil Eng. Dept., Texas A&M University

    CMS Engineering Group, LLC, Texas

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    Background The Houston Airport System is the fourth-largest airport system in the United States and the sixth-largest in the world. To bring air service to the metro area’s population of more than 5.5 million, the Houston Airport System has three facilities: George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, and Ellington Airport. The three-airport system served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010, including more than 8.5 million international travelers.

    Together these facilities form one of North America’s largest public airport systems and position Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the south central United States and a primary gateway to Latin America.1

    After a complete rehabilitation, Runway 9/27 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport was re-opened in 2009 and is now equipped with state-of-the-art approach capabilities. The runway began accepting ARC’s Category III approaches in February 2009. According to FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300-13, Airport Design, the Airport Reference Code (ARC) is a coding system used to relate airport design criteria to the operational and physical characteristics of the airplanes intended to operate at an airport. The upgraded runway allows pilots the greatest precision in landing aircraft in low and reduced visibility flight conditions.

    The rehabilitated runway now places Houston’s hub airport in a league among a few airports in the nation that currently operate three parallel Category III runways. The Houston Airport System combined the fast-tracked rehabilitation project with the addition of the navigational aid that was completed at the same time.2

    George Bush Intercontinental Airport is located approximately 20 miles north of downtown Houston, Texas. Named after George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, the airport is one of the fasting growing in the nation and the 17th busiest in the world, serving nearly 43 million passengers annually.3

    One of the airport’s five existing runways, the 10,000 foot long Runway 9/27 was originally constructed in 1987 with 300 foot Portland concrete c