Structure & Bridge Division

Bridge Construction Best Practices
Bridge DemolitionBridge MaterialsBridge PreservationCauseway and CofferdamsCulverts  |  SubstructureSubsurfaceSuperstructureWalls Associated with Bridges    



FoundationsDrilled Shaft Installation and Videos 

The Materials Division Manual of Instructions, Chapter III – Geotechnical Engineering provides requirements for Minimal Geotechnical Investigation Requirements, Laboratory Testing, Geotechnical Analyses, Geotechnical Work Products, and Monitoring Performance during Construction at the following link:

The Structure & Bridge Division Manual of the Structure & Bridge, Volume V – Part 11, Geotechnical Manual for Structures provides requirements for deep foundations and earth retaining structures at the following link:

Refer to Chapter 9, Pile Foundations, and Section 09.04 for an Overview of Pile Foundation Construction.  Guidance is provided on dynamic analysis by wave equation, analysis decisions for wave equation problems, problem solving using wave equation, dynamic pile testing and analysis, and static load testing.

Report No. FHWA NHI-06-088. Dated December 2006. Soils and Foundations Reference Manual – Volume I

The Reference Manual for Soils and Foundations Course consists of two Volumes. The manual is intended for design and construction professionals involved with the selection, design and construction of geotechnical features for surface transportation facilities. The manual is geared towards practitioners who routinely deal with soils and foundations issues but who may have little theoretical background in soil mechanics or foundation engineering. The manual’s content follows a project-oriented approach where the geotechnical aspects of a project are traced from preparation of the boring request through design computation of settlement, allowable footing pressure, etc., to the construction of approach embankments and foundations. Appendix A includes an example bridge project where such an approach is demonstrated. Recommendations are presented on how to layout borings efficiently, how to minimize approach embankment settlement, how to design the most cost-effective pier and abutment foundations, and how to transmit design information properly through plans, specifications, and/or contact with the project engineer so that the project can be constructed efficiently. The objective of this manual is to present recommended methods for the safe, cost-effective design and construction of geotechnical features. Volume I includes Chapter 1 (Introduction), Chapter 2 (Stress And Strain In Soils), Chapter 3 (Subsurface Explorations), Chapter 4 (Engineering Description, Classification And Characteristics Of Soils And Rocks), Chapter 5 (Laboratory Testing For Geotechnical Design And Construction), Chapter 6 (Slope Stability), Chapter 7 (Approach Roadway Deformations).

Report No. FHWA NHI-06-089.  Dated December 2006.  Soils and Foundations Reference Manual – Volume II

Volume II includes Chapter 8 (Shallow Foundations), Chapter 9 (Deep Foundations), Chapter 10 (Earth Retaining Structures), Chapter 11 (Geotechnical Reports), Chapter 12 (References) and Appendices.

Report No. FHWA-NHI 18-024. Dated September 2018.  Drilled Shafts: Construction Procedures and Design Methods.  Provides guidance for the selection, design, construction, and acceptance of drilled shaft foundations.  The manual addresses construction means and methods, field loading tests, construction specifications, inspection and records, non-destructive integrity tests, acceptance and assessment of drilled shafts and remediation of deficient shafts.


The checklists and technical guidelines were developed to aid engineers with review of geotechnical reports, plans and special provisions on projects containing major and unusual geotechnical features.  The document sets forth minimum geotechnical standards or criteria to show transportation agencies and consultants the basic geotechnical information which FHWA recommends be provided in geotechnical reports and PS&E packages.

Report No. FHWA-NHI-16-009_FHWA GEC 012. Dated July 2016. Design and Construction of Driven Pile Foundations – Volumes I and II.   The manuals provide state-of-the-practice information for the design and construction of driven pile foundations.  

Volume I, FHWA-NHI-16-009, covers the foundation selection process, site characterization, geotechnical design parameters and reporting, selection of pile type, geotechnical aspects of limit state design, and structural aspects of limits state design.

Volume II, FHWA-NHI-16-010, addresses static load tests, dynamic testing and signal matching, rapid load testing, wave equation analysis, dynamic formulas, contract documents, pile driving equipment, pile accessories, driving criteria, and construction monitoring. 

Page last modified: July 22, 2021