London Avenue Canal
New Orleans, LA

URS installed structural and geotechnical instrumentation in combination with an ADAS to monitor the behavior of the Levee / I-Wall during a site-specific hydrostatic load test.

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Project Details

URS installed structural and geotechnical instrumentation in combination with an automated data acquisition system (ADAS) to monitor the behavior of the Levee and I-Wall during a site-specific hydrostatic load test conducted by the USACE on a 150-square-foot section at the London Avenue Canal Project.

USACE retained URS to design, install and operate the ADAS/instrumentation and data management system. During performance of the test, URS obtained and distributed instrumentation data to the USACE stakeholders and technical review team as needed. We selected both structural and geotechnical instruments to monitor the potential failure modes.

URS installed a Campbell Scientific ADAS system to monitor the instruments in a near real-tme mode. Instrumentation included:

  • Geokon piezometers
  • tiltmeters
  • in-place inclinometers
  • earth pressure cells
  • two Leica robotic total station devices to automatically read high precision survey prisms.

URS performed falling head tests on selected piezometers prior to the start of the hydrostatic load test to ensure the responsiveness of the key piezometers. In addition, we calibrated all instruments prior to installation and start of the hydrostatic load test.

To provide instrumentation data in near-real time mode to the review teams, URS installed:

  • a Wi-Fi network that was used to send data to the USACE design review team trailer located about 1,500 feet from the test site
  • two digital IP video cameras to monitor canal and test cell water levels and load test cycles throughout the two week testing period.

During each load increment, URS observed graphical computer displays of key instruments to monitor amber or red alert levels. We made manual reading of piezometers, Avongard crack meters and inclinometer casings during certain test intervals. We monitored more than 150 instruments throughout the test period and read the majority of instruments every 15 to 30 seconds. This resulted in more than 10 million instrument readings. We recorded approximately 175,000 readings and stored them in the primary readings database (USACE WinIDP Program). The instrumentation and ADAS system performed as intended, with no downtime during the two-week testing period.



USACE Hurricane Protection Office


New Orleans, LA


Design ADAS
In-place Inclinometers
Earth Pressure Cells
Crack meters
Data in Near-real Time Mode
Installation of Equipment
Manual Readings of Instruments