Melick-Tully Associates (MTA), a division of GZA, is providing geotechnical engineering services at this long-vacant, 383-acre site being redeveloped into a four-million-square-foot warehouse complex in the booming Central New Jersey/Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania distribution corridor. The former industrial site presents numerous engineering challenges, including diverse subsurface conditions caused by geologic and historic use; differing land use and regulatory requirements from the two towns in which the complex resides; and environmental impacts from the site’s former industrial owner.
GZA compiled and reviewed previous subsurface investigations conducted at the property, then performed supplemental subsurface investigations and provided foundation recommendations for the first four buildings in the development, which range in size from 175,000 to 975,000 square feet. The site conditions encountered include slabs and foundations of numerous former industrial buildings, a former mine, existing utilities and tunnels, two former landfills, and soil management restrictions on environmentally impacted soils. Additionally, the property’s geologic composition of dolomite rock is prone to sinkhole formation. Due to these highly variable existing surface and subsurface conditions, GZA tailored site preparation for each building to suit the specific conditions present at each location. Two of the four building areas required ground improvement, consisting of deep dynamic compaction (DDC), to prepare unsuitable soils to support the proposed foundations. GZA also developed foundation recommendations to account for the Karst conditions.
GZA’s geotechnical engineers provided the expertise to address a high-profile site that was challenging not only for its geologic, environmental, regulatory and subsurface conditions, but for the monumental scale of earthwork and building involved in Bridge Point 78, the nation’s largest industrial development project of 2019.