Archive for November, 2022

DLZ Team Speaks at International Geotechnical Conference in Costa Rica

This fall, DLZ sponsored and participated in a Geotechnical Conference on slope stability and mountain road slides in San José, Costa Rica. DLZ Vice President of Water Resources and Dam Safety, Mark Kessinger, and three Geotechnical Engineers from our Costa Rica office – Adrian Ulloa, Monica Vega, and Maria Paula Urena attended the conference.

The seminar, hosted by the Costa Rican Association of Geotechnical Engineers (ACG), carries out geotechnical activities in Costa Rica and is a benchmark institution in the Central American Region. These seminars are held in San José every four years with geotechnical experts from all over the world, including Spain, Italy, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Mexico.

Four Critical Slope Stabilization Areas

During the conference, industry experts highlighted four critical areas related to slope stabilization and the repair of slides along mountain roads.

Geotechnical Experiences
Conference speakers shared valuable geotechnical experiences and techniques on many projects all over the world. This knowledge is always productive for all engineering teams because it opens the mind to new ideas that could be applied to future projects.

Technological Advances
New technological advances related to geotechnical instrumentation to monitor slopes and excavations beneath existing structures drew strong attention because they demonstrate that new research has led to new technologies recently appearing in the geotechnical engineering field.

Climate Change
A third prominent area of interest was climate change and its impacts, associated risks, and threats to slope stability. In general, examples of methodologies to analyze possible landslides were presented using meteorological stations to predict behavior along mountain roads and slopes.

Environmental Model
And fourthly, Costa Rica is known to be a model environmental country. In October of last year, it was one of only five countries to receive the prestigious Earthshot Prize for its contributions to environmentalism in the Protect and Restore Nature Category. So, one of the conference’s main topics was related to a mountain road with numerous landslides. The road is in a protected area of the Braulio Carrillo National Park. Several presentations were given on the sustainable repair of 80 miles of this critical mountain road by 2027 at nearly $70 million dollars.

Leaders in our Industry

DLZ representatives gave two presentations during the conference.

Mark Kessinger described successful stabilization methods for slopes in the Appalachian Mountains. The audience received this topic very well because the projects were outside Latin America, where most of the projects presented were located.

Monica Vega gave a presentation on DLZ’s engineering and design efforts to protect the upper guide wall at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dashields Locks and Dam on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She explained how DLZ is working to stabilize the slope failure that is moving toward the wall and threatening its collapse, which would lead to the closure of this vital lock chamber.

This conference was an excellent opportunity for DLZ to share its work, promote its services, learn about new methods, share our experiences, and connect with geologists and geotechnical engineers from around the world.

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