Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

earthquake retrofitting

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Caissons: The Unsung Heroes of Earthquake Safety

Blog, Retrofitting California | Comments Off on Caissons: The Unsung Heroes of Earthquake Safety
Caissons: The Unsung Heroes of Earthquake Safety

What is an essential part of your everyday routine? For those who live in Los Angeles, it’s definitely driving on the freeway. Whether or not you enjoy your daily commute, you’ve likely been taking for granted the very means by which you get from point A to point B. In major metropolitan areas – especially those found in the Southern California region – the use of the freeway (and even multiple freeways) is commonplace for the sake of convenience and efficiency. Yes, we’ve all had the unfortunate luck to be stuck in traffic in our day-to-day routines; however, what would happen if one day, this major part of our infrastructure were to literally crumble?

Earthquakes are a nasty force with which to be reckoned. In past Southern California seismic events, many freeways have, sadly, met their collapse from the intense shaking. In the recent blockbuster action film, San Andreas, the city of Los Angeles saw destruction and devastation the likes of which, while highly hyperbolized, is not far off from what could potentially happen. If proper care is not taken to reinforce our buildings and freeways in the very near future, we might find ourselves living out a dystopian nightmare.

What is the answer to alleviate this seemingly overwhelming potential situation?

The answer, quite simply, is: seismic retrofitting. And, speaking specifically in terms of seismically retrofitting freeways: caissons.

What IS a caisson???caisson-drilling

Fear not, residents of Southern California, for your answer comes in the form of a large concrete pillar, reinforced with metal rebar. That’s right; caissons are engineered to bear the weight of a freeway platform on which multiple cars are constantly driving. Steel cages are drilled deep into the ground to ensure stability and rigidity. Then, concrete is poured over these rebar cages and into the drilled holes for extra reinforcement. Caissons are built to be exceptionally strong, and are essential to maintain resilience in the face of natural disaster.

This is exactly why caissons are the unsung heroes of earthquake safety. Not only does everyday safety depend on the strength and stability of caissons, so too does the rare but very real and apparent threat of natural disaster.

We at Weinstein Construction understand the importance of well-constructed and disaster-resilient caissons. Our decades of expertise in the installation of caissons in private, commercial, and industrial settings are what set us at the forefront in earthquake and natural disaster preparedness.