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Course Description

Drilled Shafts

PROGRAM AREA: Geotechnical
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3 Days
1.8 Units
$925 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


Drilled shafts are an alternate type of deep foundation that may be more cost effective and perform better than other types of deep foundations in bridge piers at river crossings and in retrofit operations, high-mast lighting, earth retaining structures, single-column piers, and similar applications. This course provides participants with specific technical guidance on all aspects of designing, installing, and monitoring the construction of drilled shafts. The lessons address the following topics: applications, advantages, and disadvantages of drilled shafts for transportation structure foundations; general requirements for subsurface investigations; construction methods; construction case histories; construction specifications; principles of designing drilled shafts for axial and lateral loading; expansive soils, downdrag, and similar effects; load testing; inspection; integrity testing; repair and retrofit of defective shafts; and cost estimation. The participants will receive a comprehensive reference manual on drilled shaft construction and design used by engineers who perform detailed designs of drilled shafts, write construction specifications, and evaluate the performance of contractors through a comprehensive inspection program.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the various drilling rigs and tools that are available to construct drilled shafts under varied subsurface soil and rock conditions
  • Recognize the basic features of drilling aids, such as casings and drilling slurries, and the reasons for certain fundamental requirements for these aids
  • Design drilled shafts for axial loading in simple soil and rock profiles
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the elements of designing drilled shafts for lateral loads
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the need for load tests and available methods for performing the tests
  • Formulate the basic elements of construction specifications for drilled shafts
  • Demonstrate an understanding of integrity testing, repair, and retrofit of defective shafts
  • Estimate costs for drilled shafts


The target audience for this course includes geotechnical engineers, bridge designers, and resident engineers. The course embraces both construction and design, and it is important that all participants attend all lessons, not just those in their immediate areas of interest. A key issue is how the details of construction affect the way in which a drilled shaft should be designed and how the intent of the design affects inspection. Participants are expected to have a degree in engineering for which they have passed an undergraduate course in soil mechanics and/or have successfully completed NHI course FHWA-NHI-132012 Soils and Foundations Workshop.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


Start Date: 8/23/2016
End Date: 8/25/2016
Location: ODESSA, TX
Local Coordinator: Audrey Zenon (512) 486-5448
1 Public Seats
$925 Per Participant
2 FHWA Seats

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Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


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