Home / Event / Technical Lunch Meeting: MGM Casino National Harbor Geotechnical Case Study

Technical Lunch Meeting: MGM Casino National Harbor Geotechnical Case Study


Presenter: Karl Higgins, III, P.E.

Topic: MGM Casino National Harbor Geotechnical Case Study – Technical Lunch Meeting

When: Thursday, July 26th

Lunch is served at 11:45AM

Presentation begins at 12:00PM

Where: The Westwood Club – 6200 West Club Lane, Richmond, VA 23226

Registration Price: $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Note the price will increase to $30 for both members and non-members Monday, July 23rd. Registration will close Tuesday, July 24th at 3pm.

PDH: 1 Credit


MGM National Harbor is a major entertainment and resort development in the National Harbor area of Prince George’s County, Maryland. The site covers approximately 22 acres of sloping terrain that is located just south of the Beltway (I-495), west of Oxon Hill Road, east of the Potomac River, and north of the National Harbor and Gaylord developments. The resort was constructed into a hillside and contains levels for parking, casinos, restaurants, shops, theatres, ballrooms, and an 18 floor hotel tower.

The project and subsurface conditions presented ECS with a number of geotechnical challenges throughout the design and construction of the deep foundation system. This presentation will present the findings of using Displacement Cast-in-Place (DCIP) piles in Coastal Plain soils. DCIP piles are not a common deep foundation type in the DC Metro Area market. As a result, less regional data was available for these foundations compared to other more traditional deep foundation types. After 20 static load tests and the installation of over 6,000 DCIP and ACIP piles for the MGM Casino Project (2014-2015), it was observed that DCIP piles did not consistently achieve support values higher than ACIP piles when installed in very stiff to hard clays and dense sands ; improvement was only observed in loose and medium dense sands.



Mr. Higgins is the Chief Engineer for ECS Mid-Atlantic, the company’s largest subsidiary (about 650 employees). Prior to serving as Chief Engineer, Mr. Higgins was the Assistant Branch Manager for ECS’ DC metro office, which consists of a team of approximately 300+ engineers, geologists and technicians working on a variety of building and infrastructure projects in northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. Mr. Higgins is responsible for standard of practice of geotechnical engineering for ECS Mid-Atlantic and works closely with 15 ECS regional offices in this endeavor. He consults nationwide with other ECS offices and internationally.

Mr. Higgins received his BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech University, and his Masters in Engineering from The University of Missouri at Rolla. Karl is also a Board Certified Geotechnical Engineer from the Academy of GeoProfessionals (AGP). Karl lives in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife of 25 years and his two teen-aged sons, Owen and Ryan.



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This meeting is brought to you by….

ADS is a leading manufacturer of high performance thermoplastic corrugated pipe and ancillary products, providing a comprehensive suite of water management products and superior drainage solutions for use in the construction and infrastructure marketplace. Our innovative pipes, fittings, basins and other products are used across a broad range of end markets and applications, including non-residential, residential, agriculture and infrastructure applications. We have established a leading position in many of our domestic and international end markets by leveraging our national sales and distribution platform, our overall product breadth and scale, and our manufacturing excellence. Founded in 1966, ADS operates a global network of approximately 60 manufacturing plants and over 30 distribution centers.