Creating Space Underground




Temporary Rockfall Mitigation System - Bellwood Quarry Reservoir Tunnel

Atlanta, GA

Nick Strater, P.G. - Associate - Brierley Associates

David J. Scarpato, P.E. - President - Scarptec, Inc.


The City of Atlanta's raw water system infrastructure, like many cities, is well over 100-years old. Capacity demand, as a result of population growth, places stress on the system to a point that raw water reserves amount to about three days. expand storage of raw water drawn from the Chattahoochee River, an abandoned quarry that was active for approximately 100-years is being transformed into a 2.4 billion gallon reservoir, which will provide a minimum 30- day backup supply to the City. The project includes the construction of a five-mile long, 10-ft diameter partially-lined rock tunnel that will start at a portal mined into the wall of the Bellwood Quarry. Other project components include pump stations constructed within shafts and control devices. Two of the pump station shafts were excavated within 200-ft of the tunnel portal slope face, and a series of adits will be excavated, which will connect the main tunnel to the pump station shafts.


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AEG Annual Conference

Colorado Springs, CO

The 2017 Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) Annual Meeting will be held at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO, September 12-16, 2017. The planned symposia and technical sessions include induced seismicity, slope stability and debris flows, rock mechanics, drone technology, industrial minerals and mining, geophysics, groundwater, and flood hazards and more. Short courses topics will include drone technology, debris flows, rock coring, and professional ethics. Brierley's Ike Isaacson and Alan Howard will be attending the meeting.



Intelligent Tunnel Design© Rolled Out


The 10th Annual Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course was recently held in Chicago, IL. Gary Brierley- President - Dr. Mole, Inc. presented a paper that was co-authored by Gary and AJ McGinn-President-Brierley Associates  The paper, titled Intelligent Tunnel Design,© offers our philosophy and process for the successful design of underground projects and is based on Brierley Associates collective experience with Creating Space Underground. The complete article can be found in the August 2017 issue of Tunnel Business Magazine. If you would like an electronic version of the article, please contact Steve Vinci (



Brierley Sponsors the CASFM Conference

The Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers' Conference will be held September 19-22, 2017 at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center in Breckenridge. Brierley's Steve Kuehr will be attending the conference.




Pilot Tube Method Gets New Manual of Practice Sunday, Aug. 6, the Manual of Practice (MOP) on Pilot Tube and Other Guide Boring Methods was unveiled at the ASCE/UESI Pipelines Conference in Phoenix, AZ, at a four-hour workshop taught by the principal authors. The principal authors of the MOP include Jeff Boschert, Glenn Boyce, Dennis Doherty, Andrew Finney, Richard Palmer, Troy Stokes, and Brierley's, Nick Strater. Attendees received a hard copy of the MOP.


Nick Strater and Brian Dorwart also presented during the ASCE/UESI Conference - "Use of Downhole Instrumentation to Reduce Risk of Inadvertent Return ("Frac-out")".


This presentation summarized the outcome of a proactive approach to manage risks associated with a large-scale HDD, multi-phase cable installation located in central Maryland. Deployment of real-time instrumentation of pilot rods, and reamers was the centerpiece of risk management.  The instrumentation allowed the project team to monitor rate of penetration, pump rates, tool torque, and downhole pressures during all aspects of drilling, including pilot hole development, reaming, and duct bundle pullback.  Real-time data was provided to all team members using wireless links for immediate evaluation.  The instrumentation, coupled with a site-specific drill fluid design, allowed immediate response to elevated annular pressures, significantly reducing the incidence rate of frac-outs.  The data collected also allows evaluation of the contractor's activities, from the standpoint of drilling efficiency.




Brierley's Minnesota Office Welcomes Kurt Breitenbucher

Brierley Associates welcomes Kurt Breitenbucher to its Minneapolis, Minnesota office. He has four-years of experience designing support of excavation systems, foundations, retaining walls, performing tunnel investigations/remediation. Prior to his design work he was a contract researcher and worked with Michigan Department of Transportation during graduate school. He grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He has a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Civil Engineering with a Geotechnical focus from Michigan Technological University.


Kurt may be contacted at



Our Denver Office Welcomes Sobhan Bhattacharya Associates welcomes Sobhan Bhattacharya to our Denver, Colorado office. Sobhan recently graduated with a MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering. During his master's study, Sobhan gained experience in numerical modelling and analysis of geotechnical problems. Sobhan is currently working toward earning his EIT and eventually his Professional Engineer licensure. Sobhan grew up in India and during his free time he enjoys the outdoors, cooking and yoga.


Sobhan may be contacted in our Denver, CO office at 303.446.6699 or by e-mail at



Our Denver Office Also Welcomes Shane Zentner Denver, Colorado office has a recent addition, Shane Zentner, who provides geospatial data development and GIS services. Shane brings a variety of skills and experiences including 3D photogrammetric mapping and digital terrain model development (DTM). He has an extensive background in GIS mapping and spatial analysis supporting complex engineering projects, GIS database development and hydrographic studies involving LiDAR and geodetic surveying. Shane earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette as well as continued coursework in GIS sciences from the University of Colorado-Denver. He is a registered GIS professional (GISP), and, he understands the entire mapping workflow from raw data collection to final client GIS deliverables.  


Shane may be contacted by e-mail at



New to the Brierley Chicago Office - Seth Hoffman Associates is pleased to welcome Seth Hoffman as a structural engineer in the Chicago, IL office.  Prior to Joining Brierley Associates in May 2017, he spent seven-years working in the engineering group of a major North American contractor, specializing in structural design for construction needs, including temporary structures, existing structure analysis, support of excavation, personnel access, lift planning, and much more.  He is a licensed Civil and Structural engineer, and graduated with his BS and MS in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 18-month-old daughter, woodworking, and restoring old homes.


Seth can be contacted at



Neal Wedding Joins Brierley's Kentucky Office Associates welcomes Neal Wedding, PE, to the new Owensboro, KY, office. Neal has more than twenty-years of experience in structural and geotechnical design and testing, including more than fifteen-years as a design engineer for an underground construction company that specializes in tunnel and underground mine construction. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering at the University of Louisville and focused his studies on structural and geotechnical engineering.


Neal can be reached at by email at



Brierley's Austin,Texas Office Welcomes Danny Maine Maine is a Geotechnical Engineer and a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He has over six years of field and design experience and has been involved with a wide variety of projects ranging from large scale Design-Build sand P3 projects to smaller scale on-call contracts. Notable projects include the second Midtown Tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia and the First Street Tunnel for DC Water in Washington D.C.  Red Line Downtown Tunnel in Baltimore. He has since migrated to Texas where he was deeply involved in the US 183 Expansion project in Austin. Danny brings to Brierley capabilities in the design of deep and shallow foundations, retaining walls, support of excavation, ground improvement, slope stability, seismic hazard analysis, pavement design, tunneling, and geotechnical instrumentation. Danny enjoys time on the water and has an affinity for adrenaline. Wakeboarding and snowboarding are favorites and Danny is an accomplished practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Danny at



Dr. Mole Quoted in USA TODAY - Can Tesla's Elon Musk Revolutionize Tunneling?

Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY

Published August 14, 2017"Building a tunnel boring machine is as complicated as building a rocket," said Gary Brierley, a tunneling consultant and former president of the American Underground Construction Association whose professional nickname is Doctor Mole. "I hate to say this, but I think rockets are kind of easy compared to tunnels."


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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.


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