Geo-Trans 2004: Geotechnical Engineering for Transportation Projects will bring over 500 geotechnical professionals, state and local agencies, academics and structural engineers together to gain insights into numerous transportation topics.

In 1989, the powerful Loma Prieta earthquake caused major damage in San Francisco, including collapsing a section of the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Although the bridge was quickly repaired, the tragic event prompted officials to design a replacement that could withstand future earthquake ground motions. The resulting design is a striking solution uniquely suited to the Bay's challenging geology.

The redesigned bridge, California's largest public works project in decades, is just one of the major projects that will be presented at Geo-Trans 2004: Geotechnical Engineering for Transportation Projects. The conference will bring over 500 geotechnical professionals, state and local agencies, academics and structural engineers together to gain insights into numerous transportation topics. Presented by the Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the conference will take place July 27 through July 31 at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City Hotel.

"Addressing the geotechnical challenges that, quite literally, affect the very foundation of nearly all built structures is vital to protecting human lives and property," according to Patricia D. Galloway, P.E., F.ASCE, PMP, president of ASCE. "With its topography and its densely populated areas, there's no better place than California to explore geotechnical innovations in transportation."

During the conference's nine concurrent technical sessions, attendees will explore topics including Soil Improvement, Earth Retaining Structures, Risk Evaluation and Mitigation for Underground Structures, and Seismic Analysis and Design. There will also be a two-day symposium on Deep Mixing and short courses on topics such as Pavement Field Evaluation and Estimation of Soil Properties for Foundation Design. The conference will feature nine distinguished speakers: George A. Munfakh, senior vice president and Geotechnical and Tunneling Division manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Fumio Tatsyoka, professor of geotechnical engineering, University of Tokyo; Thomas D. O'Rourke, Thomas R. Briggs professor of engineering, Cornell University; Geoffrey R. Martin, University of Southern California; Kenji Ishihara, Tokyo University of Science; Brian Maroney, principal bridge engineer and chief of toll bridge designs, CALTRANS; Suzanne Lacasse, managing director, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute; Alain Pecker, chairman and managing director, Geodynamique et Structure; and Shaun Shahrestani, chief harbor engineer, Construction Division, Port of Los Angeles.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in three technical tours: the Van Norman Complex, a facility that has withstood both the 1971 San Fernando and the 1994 Northridge earthquakes, and which controls 75 percent of Los Angeles' annual water supply; the Arrowhead East and West tunnels of the Inland Feeder Project, a $242 million segment of a $1.2 billion project to bring water across the San Andreas fault to the newly built storage reservoir at Diamond Valley Lake; and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Landslide, one of the most geologically-active areas in greater Los Angeles. The conference will also feature an exhibition hall with dozens of technology firms, products, services and vendor demonstrations.

The Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a specialty organization focused on the geo-industry. Created by the American Society of Civil Engineers in October 1996, its 9,700+ members and 29 member organizations include scientists, engineers, technologists, and organizations interested in improving the environment, mitigating natural hazards, and economically constructing engineered facilities.

Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 133,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

Source: ASCE, July 12, 2004

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