Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sinkhole Surveying Nets Engineering Award

Ric Federico, EnSafe and Wendell Strode, Corvette Museum
On February 12, 2014, eight classic Chevrolet Corvettes were swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up beneath the Skydome of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. A year later, the technology used to survey the sinkhole and surrounding areas nets local company EnSafe an award.

"Every year the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) - Tennessee Chapter issues an award for engineering excellence," said Ric Federico, Senior Project Manager in the Bowling Green, Kentucky office of EnSafe, Inc. "For our work in mapping the cave without drilling into it from the surface, the EnSafe NCM microgravity project was entered into the Surveying and Mapping Technology category where it won the Grand Award."

EnSafe provided support in evaluating potential environmental and safety concerns in the Museum's Skydome during initial response activities, and subsequently designed and conducted a microgravity survey to evaluate the extent of the void and aid in identifying other potential karst features beneath the Skydome. EnSafe worked with Western Kentucky University (WKU) professors from the Department of Geography and Geology, who entered the void and prepared a cave map, which revealed excellent correlation between the microgravity data and the actual cave dimensions.

"We worked closely with WKU, Hayward Baker, and Scott, Murphy, Daniel early on and throughout the project to help the National Corvette Museum evaluate the problem and potential remedies, and we are pleased that our project and data were of value to the project team in developing and refining the micropile strategy," said Federico.

Geotechnical firm Hayward Baker is currently finalizing micropile installation and the Skydome construction is on track to be complete in July.