Colorado State Prison
In 1976 at the site of the new maximum security facility for the Colorado State Prison in Fremont County, swelling soils and bedrock were shown on geologic maps. Field investigations and soils tests resulted in a remedial plan by the geologic and soils engineers, architect, builder and others on foundation design, drainage and landscaping. Millions of dollars in potential damages were avoided.
Surface view of a near-vertical bentonite layer in the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale in Jefferson County, Colorado. The layer heaved with a differential displacement of 3 inches within 24 hours after a rainstorm at this construction site. Note the hump in the fence aligned with the trend of the bentonite layer. Heaving bedrock damage is occurring in the subdivision in the background. Photo by Dave Noe.