Access Design Services for Transmission Structure Replacement
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Dominion Energy contacted Geosyntec to design an access road and working pad to provide the utility with the ability to replace an aging transmission structure.

Typically a simple design, the standard road and pad designs required significant areas of land disturbance and amounts of fill to construct. Geosyntec was contacted to provide consultation on alternate designs and ultimately to provide detailed design of the road and working pad.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Located in the Shenandoah Park in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia an aging structure required rehabilitation. The structure is located at the top of a ridge that runs along Skyline Drive. The utility had contracted with a firm to provide the site civil design for the permitting and design required for the rehabilitation work. The slopes in the area are in excess of 50 percent, requiring significant amounts of fill to construct both the access road and the working pad at the structure. As part of Geosyntec's scope a conceptual evaluation was conducted to assess using mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) berms to allow for near-vertical slopes to be used in building up the access road and pad. In addition, Geosyntec worked with the utility's construction coordinator and the general contractor to arrange an access road that satisfied the contractor's requirements for moving equipment to the working pad and met the utility's strict standards for health and safety.

The structure is located within the Shenandoah National Park which is regulated by the National Park Service. Geosyntec prepared drawings and a design memorandum for submission to the National Park Service for their review. Geosyntec's design minimized land disturbance within the Park's boundaries. Minimization of fill and land disturbance within the Park boundaries was critical since the National Park Service required complete removal of the road and pads and rehabilitation of disturbed areas.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec's expertise and cutting-edge geotechnical design expertise allowed for a feasible design for access to a structure in challenging and complicated, mountainous conditions. Geosyntec's close consultation with the utility and its contractor further allowed for a design that met multiple criteria for equipment movement, access, and loading along with health and safety standards. Geosyntec's design also minimized land disturbance within the Shenandoah National Park, lowering the utility's ultimate cost for rehabilitating the structure.

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Project Summary

  • Location: Virginia
  • Client: Dominion Energy
  • Project Practice Areas: Geotechnical
  • Type of Facility: Transmission structures
  • Services Provided: Site Civil Design, MSE Berm Design, Conceptual Planning, National Park Service Permitting
  • Type of Work: Access design
  • Governing Regulation: Federal, state, and local