Langan Helps UC Merced and Plenary P3 Project to Expand Campus
UC Merced, home to the Bobcats, is one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation. To accommodate the influx of students akin to migration to a small city, the school had to build … well … a small city. In partnership with Plenary, this $1.3-billion public-private partnership (P3) is to be completed in just four years in 2020.
Langan is proud to serve as the geotechnical engineer of record for a project involving the construction of 16 buildings, two bridges, roads and parking lots, and several athletic facilities and fields in order to double the physical capacity of the campus, allowing it to grow to 10,000 students. While working under an aggressive schedule, our engineers addressed many geotechnical issues, such as a shallow groundwater, liquefaction and lateral spread potential, bridge foundations per Caltrans design requirements, shoring installation adjacent to the Merced irrigation canal, and the presence of expansive and weak soil.
Given the enormity of the task, non-stop coordination was critical, especially with Webcor, the general contractor and construction manager. Langan staffed up to four field engineers on site while our GIS team collected and organized over 150 subsurface exploration points and 8,000 field density tests to date. Our field engineers logged data in the field while our project engineers accessed the data in real-time to keep up with the project. In the last three years, the Langan team submitted 16 geotechnical investigation reports and letters for foundation design and regulatory approval.
“As geotechnical engineers, we usually work on multiple projects simultaneously, but for UC Merced we practically embedded staff on campus; quite a few of us committed 100% of our time,” said Principal-in-Charge Maria Flessas, PE, GE. “It was challenging, but we loved being part of this successful, innovative, and adaptable project, and the collaboration with the multiple team members, especially within a unique P3 framework led by Plenary and UC Merced.”