St. Joseph Hospital of Bellingham, Washington requested Merit Engineering, Inc. to conduct a geotechnical engineering investigation for the proposed 2000 expansion project of St. Joseph Hospital. The project site is at the St. Joseph Hospital on Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham, Washington. The proposed building structures include a parking garage, a boiler plant, an ambulatory service building, a new east tower and a conference center. A total of nine building will be built. The objective of this study was to investigate the subsurface soil and groundwater conditions at the proposed project site, derive conclusions, and provide preliminary recommendations for design of foundations to support the proposed structures.
The soils were investigated using a hollow stem augur drill rig, a mud rotary drill rig and a cone penetration rig. The project posed an interesting challenge with coordinating with the different drilling companies, numerous department heads at the hospital, and a host of civil engineers and architects involved with the project. Also the hospital had strict guidelines that we had to adhere to involving when and where we could drill and how much vibration we could make. The topography of the land where the parking garages were to be placed is a steep hillside in a heavily wooded area. Merit Engineering had to have a winding road cut through the woods in order to test the soil where the garages are to be located.