In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the busiest single runway airport in the nation, the San Diego Airport Authority authorized design and construction of a new $316 million rental car center. The 2.5 million square foot design-build project, a four-level rental car facility, will consolidate over 14 rental car companies into one large structure. The facility will reduce traffic in and around the airport terminals such that the facility will be used for car rental and returns, servicing, and fueling. The structure is located within one block of San Diego’s light rail, includes bus stops and is adjacent to the future High Speed Rail terminal.
Geocon performed a geotechnical investigation with design of deep foundations to penetrate through dredged fills placed in the early 1930’s over bay muds. Three deep foundation options were provided for use by the general contractor to value engineer the cost of construction. Options included driven concrete piles, auger cast piles, and auger cast displacement piles. Some of the challenges: two strands of a fault that crossed through the site, contaminated soils, requirements for infiltration, LEED Gold desire and reuse of existing concrete as aggregate base.
Interesting fact: The San Diego River emptied into San Diego Bay through the airport property from the 1820s to the 1870s. To prevent silting of the San Diego Harbor, the river was diverted to its current alignment in 1877.