California Department of Transportation




Office of Geotechnical Support

The Office of Geotechnical Support serves the Geotechnical Design Offices, Structure Design, and Structure Construction through specialized engineering geologic services, field instrumentation, pile testing, compiling and distributing standards of geotechnical practice, geotechnical training, and laboratory testing of soil and rock samples.

The Office consists of 4 Branches and 3 Specializations:

  • Foundation Testing Branch
  • Geotechnical Instrumentation Branch
  • Geotechnical Laboratory, Graphics, and Records Branch
  • Geophysics and Geology Branch
  • Scour Critical Program
  • Training and Specifications
  • Geotechnical Standards

Doug Brittsan
Phone : (916) 227-7004
Fax: (916) 227-7075


Foundation Testing

Ben Barnes

(916) 227-1000

Geotechnical Instrumentation

Gem-Yeu Ma

(916) 227-1080

Geophysics and Geology

Bill Owen

(916) 227-0227

Geotechnical Lab, Contracts, Graphics, and Records

Yung Chung

(916) 227-5242


Geotechnical Standards Craig Hannenian (916) 227-5703
Scour Critical Muhammed Luqman (916) 227-5299





The Foundation Testing Branch

The Foundation Testing Branch provides statewide foundation testing services for Structure Construction projects. Services offered by the branch include:

  • Static load tests for compression, tension, and lateral capacities of piles
  • Pile Driving Analyses
  • Nondestructive testing of cast-in-drill-hole (CIDH) piles (Gamma-Gamma and Crosshole Sonic Logging)
  • CIDH Pile Mitigation Review
  • Pile drivability studies
  • Field acceptance criteria by wave equation analysis
  • Sonic Caliper Testing
  • Vibration Monitoring

The Geotechnical Instrumentation Branch

The Geotechnical Instrumentation Branch provides specialized geotechnical instrumentation and testing services. Capabilities of the branch include:

  • Slope Inclinometer Testing
  • Cone Penetrometer Testing
  • Automated landslide monitoring stations
  • Nuclear gage calibration services and radiation safety administration
  • Settlement platforms
  • Pressuremeter and vane shear testing

The Geotechnical Instrumentation Web Page is

The Geotechnical Laboratory

The Geotechnical Laboratory is an AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) accredited facility located at the Transportation Laboratory in Sacramento. The Geotechnical Laboratory is responsible for performing geotechnical testing of soil samples for Geotechnical Services.

Engineering Graphics

The Engineering Graphics Unit produces log of test borings (LOTB) plan sheets and other drafting products required to support PS&E development.

Geotechnical Records

The Geotechnical Records Unit maintains the Geotechnical Services Archive, which houses geotechnical information produced during investigations.  Information such as geotechnical reports, laboratory and field test results and LOTB are available in the Geotechnical Services Archive.

Geophysics and Geology Branch

The Geophysics and Geology Branch assists the Geotechnical Design offices with geologic data and recommendations using advanced geophysical testing methods.

Drilling Services Branch

The Drilling Services Branch provides statewide drilling services for Geotechnical Services (GS) and other Departmental functions such as Construction and Maintenance. DS operates standard and specialized equipment to handle the many unique and challenging investigations required to support the Department's mission. Drilling equipment is stored at multiple locations across the State to better serve clients and for quick response to emergencies.

Training and Specifications

The Training and Specifications Specialist:

  • Coordinates training on geotechnical procedures and methods
  • Analyzes legislature bills that might affect the Department's geotechnical program
  • Participates in the new product evaluation process
  • Maintains geotechnical non-standard special provisions

Scour Critical

The Scour Critical Program provides geological input and geotechnical analysis to the Structure Maintenance and Investigations Office for bridges susceptible to scour. Our services include:

  • Interpreting Log of Test Borings and perform site visits to evaluate the threat of scour
  • Performing calculations for bridge foundations impacted by scour
  • Providing mitigation options for scour critical bridges
  • Recommending retrofit solutions for scour damaged bridges