IN DEPTH
December 2019
Reflections on 20 Years of "Creating Space Underground"
Alan L. Howard, PG, CEG - Principal/Engineering Geologist
Early this year AJ McGinn, my friend, partner, and our President/CEO, offered a concise retrospective marking Brierley Associates' 20th year of "Creating Space Underground." He duly noted the origins of the journey that started with Gary Brierley and Gregg Sherry, followed by AJ himself as self-described "Employee No. 1." Jim Smith and I endured our respective "no compete" years on the sidelines until we were able to join our mentors and friends as partners. AJ reflected on some milestone projects through the years to the present mix of complex and challenging projects involving tunneling, trenchless technology, contractor designs, and engineering geology/geotechnical engineering.

One notable omission from that list was my first assignment at Brierley Associates. I had the pleasure of working with all the above-named characters and took the point role on the ground serving as Geotechnical Discipline Manager for HNTB for the Dulles International Airport APM People Mover project. We managed a four-company geotechnical team and delivered a $5.5M geotechnical program for various tunnels for less than $5M before, during and after 9-11. The night before that day's dark events, we were drilling behind the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. As a result of this work we made many good industry friends and made another great hire of "the right person." We picked up Gary Page, one of the best engineering geologists I have ever worked with. Gary continued to give it his all and mentored the next generations up until our 20th year when he retired after logging his last core run at the Rondout Bypass Tunnel in his beloved upstate NY.

Earlier this year, Gary Brierley (aka Dr. Mole) acknowledged the 20th anniversary of Brierley Associates from the perspective of his 7th anniversary as Dr. Mole, Inc., which he started after being the first to transition from founding partner to former partner due to the progressive ownership structure we created that requires selling down by retirement age to "create space" for new owners and leaders of the company. Our 20th year is also notable in that regard. We transitioned from a Leadership Committee comprised of an ownership majority to an elected Board of Directors that is full of younger talent all in their 40's and 50's. And we are also on the cusp of celebrating another founding partner, Gregg Sherry, completing his sell-down and moving towards a life of independent tunnel consulting and continued collaboration with Brierley Associates. My turn will come.

As Gary noted in his retrospective, Brierley Associates took a chance and it turned out well. We were able to keep our cash flow under control and had a steady increase in the demand for our services. Our hallmark has always been to create successful tunneling (and other) projects based on a solid understanding of what the ground is, and how that ground will behave during construction. We thrive on the collaboration needed at all project stages from engineering geologists unraveling the ground conditions puzzles to the brilliant young civil or structural engineer earning his stripes at the tunnel heading, working with the grizzled old Tunnel Superintendent who has seen it all. Collaborating as part of a team, working together to create solutions to challenges imposed by ground conditions is as good as it gets. It makes you forget it is "work". When you add enthusiasm and comradery it is… dare I say… "fun".

Our noteworthy 20th year of "Creating Space Underground" is fast coming to a close. We now comprise almost 90 people working in 21 offices spanning 16 States and all U.S. time zones. We have the strong leadership and incredible talent to take us to the next level, whatever the future may bring. A third of our company are owners who all thrive in the entrepreneurship, independence, and responsibility that is provided by a smaller company with an external focus on our "raison d'etre", our clients . As always, we thank and appreciate our clients, employees, project partners, industry colleagues and families for being a part of this amazing ride.
Mining Engineering Magazine Interviews Brierley Experts about Subsidence Mitigation in Artesian Conditions
Hundreds of acres of abandoned mines in Wyoming are now creating hazards including sink holes and subsistence problems. Dr. Mohamed Gamal and Dave Hibbard spoke to the editor of Mining Engineering Magazine about the challenges posed by the abandoned coal mines in Glenrock, Wyoming, that have accumulated a century's worth of water. Learn more 
Brierley Helps The City of Waukesha Upgrade Aging Sewer System
The City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, saw an opportunity to upgrade their aging wastewater infrastructure by converting the existing Greenmeadow Forcemain Sewer into a gravity flow system, a solution that eliminates the long-term operating, maintenance and replacement costs of the deteriorating force main and two pump stations. Brierley and its partner, Donohue & Associates, Inc., performed the geotechnical investigation and designed the replacement gravity system comprising about 10,000 feet of 36-inch diameter gravity line. Challenging conditions were encountered including glacial till containing large cobbles and boulders; zones of high hydraulic conductivity; hard dolomite with chert nodules; and contaminated soil from previous industrial activities.

Brierley Coming to Risk Management in Underground Construction Conference
MARCH 10-11, 2020
Brierley Associates and Dr. Mole, Inc. are Main Event Gold Sponsors of the 2020 edition of Risk Management in Underground Construction to be held in Houston, TX this coming March. Risk management is an important issue when it comes to successfully completing modern tunnel and other large scale underground construction projects. Without the open discussion of the potential risks between all parties and an understanding of these risks in advance, projects can become involved in disputes that benefit no one.

Tuesday March 10 Dr. Mole, Gary Brierley will speak on Planning for Project Success . On Wednesday, Nick Strater will hold a session on Geotechnical Risk Assessment.

Join leading stakeholders from all facets of the industry, including: contractors, owners, consultants, insurance companies, vendors, and law firms for a unique two-day event that fosters learning through open discussions and expert-led presentations.  
 
Josh Zimmermann and Tom Pullen Presenting at 2020 ASCE Geo-Congress
Minneapolis, MN will be home to the upcoming Geo-Congress 2020 that will be held February 25-28,2020. This event will also host the University of Minnesota's 68 th Annual Geotechnical Conference. Brierley's Tom Pullen and Joshua Zimmermann of our Minnesota office will be presenting their coauthored paper titled "Using an Existing Tunnel to Dewater the St. Peter Sandstone" which highlights a unique approach used to dewater a flooded access shaft during construction. Other topics discussed at the conference will include deep foundations, earth retaining structures, grouting, rock mechanics and underground engineering and construction. More information about the conference can be found here

See you at the Microtunneling Short Course
February 4-6, 2020
Brierley Associates is sponsoring the 2020 Microtunneling Short Course in Boulder Colorado on February 4-6. In addition, Brierley's own Charles Luxford will be presenting on Shaft Excavation. He will discuss the means and methods of shaft excavation for Microtunneling, including rigid and flexible systems such as diaphragm walls, secant piles, sheet piles, solider pile and lagging, liner plate, trench boxes/slide rail, etc. Bracing types, groundwater control, basal stability, and selection criteria for support of excavation systems will also be included in the presentation. 
Look for Don Painter and Alan Howard at the 7th Annual 2020 Pacific Water Conference
February 4-6 at the Hawai'i Convention Center. This is the joint conference of the A merican Water Works Association Hawai'i Section and the Hawai'i Water Environment Association.
Information about the conference is available here.
Syracuse Office Welcomes Peggy Ries
Brierley Associates welcomes Peggy Ries to our Syracuse office as Marketing Leader. Peggy has more than 25 years of experience providing marketing and business development services in the built environment. Peggy recently served as Marketing Manager at an ENR Top 500 engineering, planning, environmental and landscape architecture firm, where she oversaw proposal development, marketing, business development, communications, promotional events and seminars, market research, strategic planning, and client relationship management activities. Peggy serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Spay and Neuter Syracuse, a local non-profit spay and neuter clinic for low-income households, veterans, senior citizens, and animal rescue organizations. She is also a board member of the Central New York Land Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting natural areas in Central New York.
Our Core Purpose
Brierley Associates delivers intrinsic, recognizable value to our owner, A/E firm, and contractor clients by focusing on constructability, efficiency and practicality. Our geotechnical and structural design and consulting services are founded on a keen understanding of our clients' needs, subsurface conditions, site-specific constraints, and the risks associated with the construction of tunnels, underground facilities and heavy civil infrastructure projects.