Just Interesting

I just find this new project my company won interesting. I had heard about before the bidding began and thought maybe I’ll get to go to West Texas and repel down a really deep tunnel for inspections. It’s good to dream…

Lead Geotechnical Design Services for the 10,000 Year Clock Project (longnow.org/clock)

Jacobs Associates was recently awarded a contract to provide the lead geotechnical design services for the 10,000 Year Clock project. The project is located in a remote location in West Texas and consists of a labyrinth of underground openings—including a 500-foot-deep shaft; a large underground chamber, 80 feet long and 60 feet wide; and a network of connecting tunnels, stairways, and other smaller chambers. The project is designed to house a 200-foot-tall mechanical clock that will keep accurate time for 10,000 years with no maintenance. The clock will account for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation using a combination of ingenious mechanical devices and will be automatically calibrated with the position of the sun. The project was conceived to be “a symbol and an icon for long-term thinking.”

The underground openings will be constructed in strong, generally massive limestone. However, some of the major joints have been subject to solutioning, resulting in large apertures with a variety of infill materials. Because of the design life and scale of the underground openings, it is important to site the openings in favorable rock conditions to minimize the need for long-term ground support, which could be subject to degradation over the design life. The siting studies have utilized complex 3D geologic models with geologic input data from boreholes, and mapping at the surface and within the existing underground openings. Where support is required, it will consist of stainless steel rock dowels fully grouted with specially formulated grouts.

Jacobs Associates staff members working on the project include Mike McRae (Principal in Charge), Rick Nolting (Project Manager), Jamie Schick (Geologist in charge for the 3D model), Bill Gates (Rock Engineering), and Mike Wolski (Project Engineer).


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