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December 4, 2019 ITS Money: Brice Exley, P.E., G.E.

Brice Exley, P.E., G.E. | Hart Crowser, Inc.

Port of Seattle – Terminal 5 Berth Modernization Test Pile Program

The Terminal 5 Berth Modernization project in Seatle, WA included as part of the design process a test pile program. The purpose of this program was to do in-situ testing on representative piles to determine whether required design capacities could be reached and also whether any project savings could be achieved via design alternatives. The test program, using the Rapid Load Testing method, was successful, resulting in construction and cost benefits for this project as well as to other potential future projects.


  • Test program had a total cost of $ 2.4 Million, but the testing resulted in increased pile spacing, and decreased lengths, resulting in an estimated construction cost savings of $4 million alone and a reduction in already-tight construction schedule.
  • The program demonstrated the viability of high-strength/high-stress concrete pile driving (10 ksi prestressed concrete piles).
  • The increased resistances decreased the environmental impact.

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