United Consulting serves local city and state government agencies across the South East that are responsible for a wide range of public services, including transportation, education, housing, recreation, emergency services and more.
In addition to providing a full range of engineering consulting services to government clients, United Consulting is mindful of the budget constraints that often affect the delivery of government projects and programs, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their public policy objectives efficiently and cost effectively.
In 1998 the City of Atlanta was specifically directed to develop and implement a resolution that would end water quality violations resulting from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) via a consent decree. United Consulting provided geotechnical engineering services, geophysical services, environmental services, construction materials testing services, and inspection services for this project spanning over almost 10 years.
This mixed use, in town property featuring apartments and retail is located northwest of the intersection of Clifton Road and Houston Mill Road in DeKalb County, Georgia within walking distance of the CDC and the Emory University campus. This 80,000 square feet, $100+ million complex offers luxury residential space, retail and entertainment.
United Consulting was brought on by Gables Residential Trust to further evaluate the site and provide economical foundation options. Based on the subsurface conditions of the site United Consulting’s team of experts anticipated some difficulty in the excavation process in localized areas of the site. We performed 42 additional borings and 12 additional test pits and recommended shallow foundation design based on the building’s suitable residual soils. Due to the shallow PWR and rock, United Consulting recommended that the parking deck be supported on shallow foundation and designed for allowable soil bearing pressure of 6,000 psf.
Forsyth County procured United Consulting for the design and construction of a New Courthouse, New Jail, and Two New Parking Decks in Cumming, Georgia. United Consulting is providing special inspection and testing services during the construction portions of the work.
The Forsyth County Jail/Courthouse Project is a SPLOST 7 project consisting of a 175,000 ft² dedicated to the new 608 bed jail, 155,000 ft² of new courthouse space, and two parking decks that will accomodate 700 parking spaces. The proposed facilities will be located in the downtown area of the City of Cumming.
United Consulting is providing testing and inspection procedures for this project, both of which will be conducted in accordance with the technical requirements of the Contract Documents, staffing and technical requirements of the entire State of Georgia Special Inspections Guidelines and applicable laws, which mandate compliance with the requirements of Chapter 17 of the International Building Code (IBC).
This, more than $76 million, approximately 4-mile long Connector, extends the current parkway near the Port of Savannah’s main gate and provides direct access from Highway I-95 to the port. The Connector is set to reduce traffic on the busy SR 21 by providing the estimated 8,000 transport vehicles that visit the port each day a four-lane direct access to and from the highway.
The project included miles of new roadway and associated ramps, nine bridges and eleven MSE retaining walls with the highest MSE wall being 42 feet. The proposed roadway crossed over two creeks and five existing roadways and Norfolk-Southern Railroad. Portions of the project extended through undeveloped land while others extended across previously developed industrial areas.
United Consulting was hired to perform soil surveys, bridge foundation explorations, wall foundation explorations, subsurface utility location, and Phase I and Phase II environmental services for the project. Summaries and recommendations were prepared in accordance with general guidelines and format required by Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
DeKalb County had an initiative to develop additional parks across the area in an effort to promote healthy living and lifestyles. The County identified this approximate 4.7-acre tract of land along Briarcliff Road that was situated in a densely residential developed area. With its availability for acquisition and location, the County planned to purchase and redevelop the land as a neighborhood park.
United Consulting was retained by the County to complete a Phase I Environmental Assessment on this tract that was improved with a vacant residential home. During the Phase I, United Consulting discovered multiple, partially buried 55-gallon drums with staining that indicated a release had possibly occurred. Interviews with the owner suggested the drums contained tar that was utilized to seal the basement walls when the home was constructed in 1957.
United Consulting then performed a Phase II Environmental Assessment including various soil and groundwater sampling. This testing showed a release of several constituents, with the primary constituent being arsenic. Due to the release, the County entered the property into the Georgia Brownfield Program. United Consulting assisted the County in making the Brownfield application, and developed a detailed Prospective Purchaser Corrective Action Plan (PPCAP) to address the contamination and to make the proposed park safe for the public. United Consulting also prepared Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plans and handled Wetland permitting for the proposed remediation. The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) approved the PPCAP and the County retained an environmental remediation contractor to over-excavate the contaminated soils and place them in an appropriately licensed off-site landfill.
To date, the removal efforts are scheduled to occur soon and United Consulting will be on site to observe the remediation process and collect confirmation samples. Once the contamination is removed to below the EPD’s conservative residential standards, United Consulting will prepare a Prospective Purchaser Compliance Status report for the County to submit to the EPD for approval. This will complete the Brownfield process, and the property will be ready for final development and the community to safely enjoy as a park!
United Consulting was contracted by the City of Atlanta to investigate, delineate, and remediate extensive petroleum contamination in the soil and groundwater at the Chattahoochee Water Treatment Plant, the largest water treatment plant supplying drinking water to the City of Atlanta. The petroleum impacts present at the Site were regulated by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Underground Storage Tank Management Program (USTMP) and are associated with three Underground Storage Tanks that were formerly located at the Site.
This Site has presented several challenges including numerous buried utilities and underground hazards associated with the Water Treatment plant, which were unmarked and located in unknown areas. United Consulting used our in-house Ground Penetrating Radar and other measures to successfully avoid damage to the many underground utilities. United Consulting then performed an extensive assessment program on the site.
Additionally, United Consulting completed an emergency Gas Assessment of the chemical application building to assess reported strong gas odors. It was feared that gas fumes could lead to an explosive event inside the building. United Consulting was at the building the same day as the call from the client and completed gas measurements with our multirae and other meters. Remedial recommendations were made that same day, with more comprehensive recommendations in our written report. We completed a Vapor Intrusion Work Plan which included a Conceptual Site Model (CSM) to further evaluate the source and point(s) of entry for the vapor intrusion.
Throughout this project, United Consulting worked closely with both the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to ensure that the services performed at the Site were done in the most proficient and cost effective manner possible.
In an effort to provide the flourishing Atlanta region with a transportation hub that would offer a centralized facility and a transfer point for its existing and future intercity, regional and local transit services, the City of Atlanta proposed creation of the Georgia Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (MMPT). This solution proposed to bring together various bus and rail transit services to downtown Atlanta, combining the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail and buses, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Xpress buses, Gwinnett County Transit (GCT), Cobb Community Transit (CCT), Megabus, Greyhound intercity bus, and planned intercity and commuter rail service to a one centralized location.
United Consulting completed a Preliminary Phase I Environmental Assessment on the MMPT Project, containing about 119-acres of land in downtown Atlanta, located adjacent to the NSP (across Centennial Olympic Park Drive). This included over 200 parcels, owned by nine different government entities and over 70 private parties. United Consulting subsequently completed a more detailed Environmental Assessment on a smaller 35.4-acre MMPT Project Site, then a Phase II Environmental Assessment of a tract which included a large vacant building deemed for potential use by the MMPT. United Consulting prepared a site-specific Health & Safety Plan (HASP) for use by the design team members and coordinated with the City of Atlanta Police to clear vagrants from the building.
At Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, during construction of the structures surrounding the new Automated People Mover (APM), inspectors noticed problems with the steel configuration in the walls. The noted defects related to the steels depth within the walls and triggered questions as to the extent of the defects.
The engineering requirements put forth by the manufacturer of the transportation cars, regarding the placement of the steel in the support walls, were very stringent in order to maintain the safe operation of the APM. The defects noted by the inspectors related to both the depth of the steel within the concrete walls and in the angled base of the wall. Upon further investigation it was determined that one of the issues was the steel manufacturer had supplied angled rebar of incorrect length that affected the geometry of the steels placement within the base of the wall. The vertical steel was also determined to be out of tolerance at several locations.
United Consulting was contracted to conduct a GPR survey of all of the walls build onsite to determine the extent of the areas that did not meet the project specifications. We were successfully able to establish the size of the areas where the steel was not placed within the engineering requirements so modifications could be made prior to the completion of construction.
United Consulting has used Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) to further explore the subsurface conditions at project sites in the southeastern United States in areas that are underlain by limestone or dolomite formations that result in karst topography. Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) is a technique used to map the resistance to electrical flow in the ground at varying depths and lateral locations.
United Consulting recently completed two Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) surveys for a big box retailer developing two separate sites located in northern Alabama. The geology in northern Alabama primarily consists of limestone and dolomite and is termed karst topography. This topography typically forms above limestone or dolomite, by dissolution, and is characterized by sinkholes, caves and underground drainage. Based on our experience with projects located in this type of geology we recommended that the client conduct an ERI survey to assess the risk associated with developing property located above this type of geology. The ERI surveys were able to image the subsurface conditions to assess the potential risks of future sinkhole development at the sites, both during and after construction. The results of our surveys assisted in guiding the developer to select the lowest risk locations and foundation option for the proposed buildings and identified locations that warranted further invasive investigation.
The needs of the greater Atlanta area’s eastern suburban metropolitan region were addressed with the 78 – SR 124 intersection improvement project. The proposed intersection not only provided a greater level of safety by modifying dangerous left turns, it also shortened commute times for suburban travelers by increasing the flow of traffic between these major thoroughfares. U.S. Highway 78 is a major east – west commuter corridor while State Route (SR) 124 is a major north – south artery. The continuous flow intersection is designed to alleviate congestion for both commuters transitioning direction and for thru traffic.
United Consulting performed a Quality Level “B” Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) effort conducted in conformance with the GDOT SUE Department’s guidelines for the 78 – SR 124 intersection improvement project. United Consulting’s experience in Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) was utilized by the design team under the authority of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to locate the existing utility infrastructure. This SUE project encompasses about 9,700 linear feet of streetscape and was conducted as part of the GDOT plan to upgrade and reconfigure this intersection. The new wider intersection footprint will involve a widening of the existing Right-of-Way at the intersection and the acquisition of a few occupied parcels of land.
Over the last decade United Consulting has been contracted to conduct many cemetery investigations. The purpose of these investigations has varied from determining the exact location of known graves to determining if graves exist in selected unmarked locations.
At the South Atlanta Street Cemetery United Consulting surveyed the northern portion of the cemetery along Oak Street between Pleasant Hill and South Atlanta Streets in Roswell. The investigation was prompted by the need to locate any additional gravesites in the grassy areas between known gravesite burial boxes for proposed road and sidewalk widening and/or improvements along Oak Street. A total of 18 unmarked gravesites were designated within the grassy areas between the known gravesite burial boxes. The lateral extent of each of the designated gravesites was flagged in the field and designated with marking paint of the ground surface. Furthermore, it was requested that United Consulting scan the back of curb area along Oak Street to locate any unknown utilities. Utilities of unknown origin were designated and depths to the top of utilities were marked in the field. United Consulting then surveyed each of the unknown gravesites designated with GPR, the corners of the known gravesite burial boxes, the unknown utilities, and additional site features to produce an electronic drawing of the designated subsurface features for the client.
The ever-expanding greater Atlanta area transportation infrastructure will be welcoming the widening of a major thoroughfare in the northern metropolitan area. The proposed widening and intersection improvements will not only shorten commute times for suburban travelers, they will increase the level of safety by improving site lines and adding signalized devices at key intersections. Spout Springs Road is a major north – south commuter corridor through southern Hall County connecting the busy I-85 and I-985 highway areas.
United Consulting performed a Quality Level “B” Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) effort, in conformance with the GDOT SUE Department’s guidelines, for the Spout Springs Road Widening project. United Consulting’s experience in Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) was utilized by the design team under the authority of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to locate the existing utility infrastructure. This SUE project encompasses over 57,000 linear feet of streetscape and was conducted as part of the GDOT plan to widen, upgrade and reconfigure route intersections. The new route footprint will involve a widening of the existing right of way and the acquisition of numerous land parcels.
In addition to field designating the utilities, the SUE process includes surveying the results and a comprehensive CAD drawing depicting both the above and below ground utilities and their connectivity. This process also aids GDOT in resolving the remaining conflicts by providing a comprehensive list of utility providers and the locations that need to be addressed.
United Consulting was hired to perform geotechnical exploration in addition to Construction Materials Testing as well as NPDES monitoring and necessary inspection services on this project. The planned construction consisted of two 6-story pre-cast concrete parking decks and two 6-story residential buildings. Our challenge was to provide geotechnical analyses and recommendations for a C-shaped apartment building portion over existing MARTA underground tunnel with crown about 5 to 6 feet below ground surface.
Due to presence of poor quality fill, United Consulting cored rock at a few locations to evaluate the economic solution for deep foundations. After careful consideration it was determined that auger-cast piles will be the most economic solution. Mat foundation recommendations were provided over the MARTA tunnel to help reduce the stress limits specified. Detailed laboratory tests, engineering analyses, including quality control during construction on tight project schedule, were performed to our client’s satisfaction.
United Consulting performed preliminary and final a geotechnical explorations and a full range of materials testing and construction phase services for the proposed development consisting of a multi-level parking deck surrounded by four- and five-story, wood-framed apartments in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward. Our final geotechnical exploration included an extensive test pit program to delineate the limits of debris-laden fill that was encountered in some of the borings. We divided the site into sections based on the proposed grading and the limits of the existing fill, so that site preparation and foundation recommendations could be developed for each segment of the site. We were able to provide conventional shallow foundation recommendations for most of the residential buildings, with some limited excavation and replacement where the unsuitable fill was relatively shallow and with the use of aggregate piers where deeper zones of old fill were present. During construction we documented and tested earthwork, concrete placement and foundation construction on a full-time basis.
This Project is a seven-floor professional office building consisting of 250,000 square feet located adjacent to DeKalb General Hospital. United Consulting provided complete concrete, soil, and structural steel testing.
United Consulting provided all labor, material, equipment, and supervision for concrete cylinder testing and “job site” steel testing. The following was conducted for this project:
United Consulting’s field representatives were on-site to provide full-time monitoring and Construction Materials Testing services. In addition, we provided recommendations for remedial procedures when tests diverged from standard results.
United Consulting was retained to provide Special Inspections for construction of several billboards in the Atlanta area. We verified the size of foundation excavations for footings and shafts was in compliance with project drawings. We checked reinforcing steel for compliance with project drawings. We sampled concrete and tested it for required compressive strength. We checked bolt size and tightness on the pole and superstructure. After several signs were converted to electronic boards, United Consulting checked installation of bolts on the new boards. We prepared a Final Report of Special Inspections for each billboard.
The Highlands at Gwinnett Stadium project is a new development of traditional garden style apartments. The buildings are three and four stories with exteriors combining fiber-cement siding and stone veneer. The owner had problems on a similar project with moisture intrusion at windows and doors. United Consulting was retained to assist in preventing similar problems on this project. United Consulting reviewed the architectural drawings and provided comments where we saw room for improvement. We met with the Owner, Architect, and Contractor to discuss the details and determine appropriate times for inspecting the work.
Periodically during construction United Consulting visited the project site to inspect the construction work related to preventing moisture intrusion. We checked for compliance with the details and noted deficiencies. We provided a report to the Owner, Architect, and Contractor of each inspection.
In the summer of 2009, a precast parking structure partially collapsed in downtown Atlanta. Concerned that the two decks on recent projects might have problems, Oxford Properties retained United Consulting to inspect the two decks. One deck was in service. The second was completed but only used for construction parking. United Consulting inspected the decks, checking welds and bolts, and looking for cracks, excessive deflections or other indications of structural problems. We prepared a report of our findings and walked the deck with the owner to point out problems we found. After the contractor made corrections, we walked the deck again to verify the work was done properly, and prepared a final report.