Photo showing installation of a soil nail wall

How Does a Soil Nail Wall Work?

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / January 25, 2021

How does a soil nail wall work? Concept Soil nail walls are typically designed using a limit equilibrium analysis.  Think of the sliding block experiment in high school physics lab where you may have calculated what force is required to overcome friction and move a sandpaper block along an incline.  In a soil nail wall,…

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Photo of Alex Smith

Alex Smith is the New Managing Member

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / January 8, 2021

Congratulations to Alex Smith on becoming the new Managing Member at Subsurface Construction.  Alex is a professional engineer, a partner at Subsurface, a volunteer in his community and our friend.  We sat down with Alex to see what makes him tick. Briefly describe what you do all day. For the first 12 years at Subsurface,…

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Permanent soil nail wall during shoring construction project

Soil Nail Wall Advantages

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / January 5, 2021

What are the advantages of a soil nail wall? Speed and Cost Soil nail walls are installed more quickly and cost effectively than other shoring systems.  Soldier pile walls or sheet pile walls require large equipment to drill in place or drive the piles or sheets.   Soil nails avoid the time and cost of installing…

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photo of Greg Sullivan

Congratulations to Greg Sullivan

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / December 4, 2020

With admiration, gratitude, and sadness we announce that Greg Sullivan will retire at the end of 2020. Greg has led Subsurface Construction as the Founder and Managing Member for 25 years.  He has inspired us with care for people, servant leadership, engineering expertise and wisdom.  Greg plans to spend time with family and friends in…

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Permanent soil nail wall during shoring construction project

Permanent or Temporary Soil Nail Wall?

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / August 15, 2020

Do you need a permanent or temporary soil nail wall?  Here are the similarities and differences. Both Remain in PlaceBoth permanent and temporary soil nail walls remain in place.  Temporary soil nails are backfilled against and abandoned in place.  Permanent soil nail walls remain in place to serve as site retaining walls or to keep…

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Talking and listening

Empathy is Imperative – Construction Leadership

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / May 22, 2020

Expressing genuine empathy is critical to being a successful leader, salesperson and coworker.  Want to lose someone’s confidence?  Show them you’re more focused on short term productivity, closing the deal or getting what you want in spite of their wants and needs – professionally or personally. Listen to understand , then respond. When in conversation,…

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OSHA Announces “Targeted Industries in Construction” for silica enforcement.

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / February 6, 2020

Silica Enforcement in the Construction Industry We should consider the OSHA’s new silica law a good thing.  The permissible exposure limit for silica has been cut from 250 ug/m3 to 50 ug/m3 – a five fold decrease.  We depend on our crew members.  The stakes are high.  Silica causes silicosis – lung disease, kidney disease,…

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Plaxis Model

Considering Movement of Excavation Shoring Systems

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / January 22, 2020

Considering Movement of Excavation Shoring Systems Are you shoring to limit excavation into a tree protection area?  Are you shoring to excavate near an historic masonry church?  Of course, we would all be more concerned about the shoring system chosen at the church, but which system?  The first step is to choose the right system. …

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Robert Jones Serves as Field Supervisor for AMPIS Drilling School

By Jeffrey W. Coonse, PE / January 20, 2020

We would like to recognize our General Superintendent, Robert Jones, for serving as Field Supervisor for the Anchor and Micropile Installation School (AMPIS).  ADSC annually puts on AMPIS to better the drilling skills of those in our industry. To learn more about ADSC’s training opportunities, visit ADSC-IAFD

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Anchor rig drilling soil nails

The things we (and you) should ask when Preparing and Evaluating a Shoring Bid

By Joseph Nixon, PE / July 16, 2019

Common questions we ask ourselves when preparing a shoring bid: 1.Have we clearly communicated the scope of work included in our shoring bid proposal? 2.Will the ground water table cause trouble? 3.How deep is rock? 4.Open hole drilling or casing? 5.Are there reasons to expect drilling obstructions? 6.Can sloping be used to avoid utilities and/or reduce…

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