Client Spotlight – Earth Inc.

Earth, Inc.Earth, Inc. is a geotechnical engineering firm that has specialized in highway, bridge work and large scale commercial development since its inception in 1983. The company can provide the complete geotechnical scope from initial field reconnaissance, problem definition, development and monitoring of subsurface exploration programs, laboratory testing, conceptual design, alternatives analysis including cost comparisons, sketch design, pre-final design, final design, and consultation during construction.

Earth, Inc. is accredited by the AASHTO Material Reference Laboratory (AMRL) Accreditation Program for soil testing for both AASHTO and ASTM test methods. The company has maintained the longest accredited program for soil testing in the state of Pennsylvania. There is a laboratory QA/QC program in place including technician training and evaluation, AMRL proficiency testing, and equipment calibration.

Geotechnical and supplementary civil engineering service highlights include:

  • Geotechnical investigations for civil engineering construction
  • Foundation investigations for civil structures including buildings and bridges
  • Geotechnical engineering design including dams, impoundments, site development, roadways, retaining structures, etc.
  • Hydrologic studies and hydraulic analyses and design
  • Groundwater studies
  • Landslide stabilization
  • Acid mine drainage and mine reclamation projects
  • Consulting, monitoring, and testing services during construction

Their many highway and bridge projects include work on Pennsylvania Turnpike expansion projects including the Mon Fayette, Greensburg and Beaver Valley Expressways. In addition to PennDOT reconstruction projects on I-79 and I-70, they have also worked on Pennsylvania Turnpike Mainline and Northeast Extension reconstruction projects as well.

McCandless Crossing, a large scale commercial project located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, represents recent commercial property development with which Earth, Inc. has been involved since the beginning of the project. Site work design began in 2006 with several phases of grading and subsequent building construction having occurred in the time since. Prior to developer improvements, Earth Inc. worked with highway design consultants, the Town of McCandless and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to widen McKnight Road, Cumberland Road, Babcock Boulevard, and Duncan Avenue, thereby increasing traffic capacity via new turn lanes for the massive undertaking.

Earth, Inc.The Duquesne Incline on Mt. Washington is an iconic symbol in Pittsburgh. In 1996, the Incline experienced a significant rock fall event. Although the Incline did not incur much damage, its long-term stability was threatened. As a result, Earth, Inc. designed a rock fall remediation system consisting of slope netting and rock bolts on two rock faces of suspect stability on the very steep hillside overlooking downtown Pittsburgh; this work also included shotcrete underpinnings of rock overhangs. The construction work was incorporated into the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s contract to perform hillside stabilization along portions of the Conrail railroad shelf.

For ongoing safety and monitoring, Earth, Inc. designed a geotechnical instrumentation system for the hillside upon which the Incline is located, consisting of 10 tilt meters attached to exposed rock faces. Continuous remote reading of the tilt meters is received over time at the upper station of the Incline with automated output being generated to provide baseline data for future comparisons. Alarms have been built into the computerized system to alert Duquesne Incline personnel if unusual movement has occurred, along with providing a warning of possible impending major hillside movement.

Upgrading highways and bridges, creating new commercial communities and stabilizing iconic symbols of Pittsburgh and beyond are among the highlights of Earth Inc.’s geotechnical service capabilities.

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