Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Appeal Analysis | Back
Second Appeal Analysis
PA ID# 037-99037-00; Los Angeles County
PW ID# Project Worksheet 750; Edgeridge Drive Repair
As a result of heavy rainfall that occurred during the period of February 16, 2005, through February 23, 2005, PW 750 was prepared for Los Angeles County (Applicant) in September 2005 in the amount of $365,573 to fund stabilization of a failed slope and restoration of pavement along a section of Edgeridge Drive, at mile marker (MM) 9.0, located in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County. The Applicant disagrees with FEMAs scope of work and funding determinations in the PW.
The PW describes severe slope erosion along 160 feet of the street, failure of a concrete retaining wall, and severe cracks in the asphalt pavement along a 2-foot wide, 90-foot long section of the street adjacent to the failed retaining wall. The scope of work as set forth in the PW calls for a 160-foot long soldier pile wall with timber lagging and tiebacks to stabilize the slope, placement and compaction of backfill to restore the integral ground supporting the pavement, and reconstruction of the asphalt pavement. It was indicated in the PW that no geotechnical report was submitted with the documentation provided by the Applicant and that no estimate was given as to when such a report might be available.First Appeal
The Applicant submitted its first appeal to the California Governors Office of Emergency Services (OES) on April 21, 2006. The OES forwarded the appeal to FEMA on June 21, 2006. The Applicant requested that the scope of work be revised to be consistent with the plans developed for repair of the facility and that the project cost be increased accordingly. Specifically, the Applicant requested that FEMA revise PW 750 to allow for the use of a cast-in-place reinforced concrete wall; to allow the use of drilled concrete deadman piles on which to anchor the solider piles; to allow for the inclusion of 153 feet of Type 80 concrete barrier along with 96 feet of guardrail transition and approach; and to allow for the additional costs of materials and labor associated with the revised scope of work, as well as engineering design and construction management proportionate to the increased amount, which resulted in a total project cost of $796,428. As part of the appeal the Applicant provided a general plan and cross section of the proposed soldier pile wall, dated August 24, 2005, as well as a line item estimate prepared by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, dated August 24, 2005.
The Deputy Regional Director partially granted the appeal. Construction of a cast-in-place reinforced concrete wall was permitted in lieu of the timber lagging, since a concrete retaining wall was part of the facility at the time of the disaster. The Deputy Regional Director did not concur with several other elements of the cost estimate, noting that insufficient documentation had been provided to support the Applicants requested scope of work. The Deputy Regional Director stated that while mobilization, implementation of best management practices, traffic control, and clearing and grubbing may be eligible if directly related to the approved scope of work, no documentation was provided to support the lump sum estimates of this work, which were considered to be unusually high. PW Version 1 was prepared in August 2006 for an additional $248,255, which increased the total project amount to $613,828. The Type 80 concrete barrier, guardrail transition, and approach were not included in PW Version 1.Second Appeal
The Applicant submitted its second appeal to OES on March 14, 2007, and OES forwarded it to FEMA on May 9, 2007. The Applicant appealed FEMAs denial of the cost for installation of drilled concrete deadman piles on which to anchor the solider piles. The Applicant asserts that the type of tiebacks identified in the PW scope of work cannot be constructed without incurring an additional cost of $466,800 for site excavation to allow access for the drilling equipment. The cost for installation of the deadman piles, however, would total $56,000. In addition to copies of the PW and the first appeal response, the Applicant provided copies of site photographs and an estimate sheet for site excavation.DISCUSSION
Provision is made in the PW for tiebacks to anchor the soldier piles. The assumption is made in the scope of work that the tiebacks can be drilled and grouted into competent bedrock in the hillside. The Applicant asserts that a more cost effective solution is to install a row of deadman piles to provide anchorage for the soldier piles. It should be noted that a geotechnical report was not submitted at the time the PW was written, nor was it included with the second appeal. Consequently, there was no geotechnical information provided to support the Applicants assertion that the installation of tiebacks, as outlined in the PW scope of work, is economically infeasible. In addition, the Applicant did not demonstrate that tiebacks in any form are necessary, or which type of tieback is most appropriate.
There are two means by which soldier piles derive their ability to support load. Soldier piles can be constructed as cantilevered piles, deriving their ability to carry load through the piles depth of embedment into competent foundation material. Alternatively, soldier piles can derive their load carrying ability through a combination of embedment of the lower portion of the pile, and anchorage for the upper portion. The designers choice is generally based on constructability and cost, and both relate to the geotechnical conditions at the site. As for the type of anchorage, there are alternatives in that decision as well. Anchors can be drilled and grouted into bedrock or attached to a deadman, which can either be a steel or concrete pile, or a concrete block. No information was provided by the Applicant to support their contention that a drilled concrete pile for each deadman is both necessary and cost effective.CONCLUSION
The Applicants assertion is based on assumed geotechnical conditions at the site, as well as the assumption that drilled concrete deadman piles are an essential element of the project. The Applicant did not provide any documentation, in the form of a geotechnical study and engineering design calculations, to demonstrate that tiebacks are necessary and that drilled concrete deadman piles are more cost effective than tiebacks drilled and grouted into bedrock. Consequently, the Applicants second appeal is denied.
It is the Applicants prerogative to install drilled concrete deadman piles in lieu of drilled and grouted tiebacks as set forth in the PW; however, a change in the scope of work beyond that defined in PW 750 would necessitate a request from the Applicant for an Improved Project, and the total project cost for PW 750 will be capped at the amount set forth in the PW of $613,828.