WisDOT Geotechnical Manual Development

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Awad Hanna
University of Wisconsin-Madison
2314 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation currently has a Soils Manual and a Geotechnical Bulletin that provides some guidance to Regional staff and consulting engineering firms on departmental policy and procedures.  However, these two publications are outdated and need to be completely rewritten.  There have been countless changes in technology, analytical procedures, and exploration guidelines since the drafting of the existing documents and they currently have little, if any value in their present form. Geotechnical engineering is one of the most complex fields of civil engineering and it is critical that an up to date manual be available to provide direction and technical guidance to new staff.  In addition, increasing amounts of geotechnical work is being performed by engineering consulting firms.  A reliable, up to date Geotechnical Manual (GM) is needed to ensure consistency and uniformity in the geotechnical work being performed statewide by non-WisDOT engineers.  Such a manual is not intended to be a text book or a substitution for sound geotechnical engineering training, but rather an accumulation of current WisDOT policies, practices and procedures.  Its purpose and content is to be very similar to the other essential WisDOT manuals, (e.g. the Facilities Development Manual, Construction and Materials Manual and Bridge Manual), and the GM needs to be coordinated and crossed-referenced with them.


The objective of this project is to develop a new Geotechnical Manual for WisDOT.  The general framework of the manual will be based upon an existing draft table of content and the content material will be developed from existing bulletins, memos, past studies, current policy documents and other information that exists within the department. Charts, tables, maps, checklists, analysis examples, guidelines, and text will be developed as needed to provide a complete and comprehensive manual.


  1. Assemble existing documents.
  2. Draft manual in format consistent with existing manuals.
  3. At the completion of each chapter, provide draft copies to WisDOT for review and comment.
  4. Revise as necessary based on comments.
  5. Final report.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: June 2008 – December 2009
  • Budget: $49,465
  • Student Involvement: None
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 03-22
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