Chapter 1: Manual Overview


Section 1: About this Manual

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Purpose of the Manual

The purpose of this manual is to guide districts in geotechnical investigation and design for project development. Recommendations, background information, and examples for geotechnical designs are available on the TxDOT website.

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Updates to this manual are summarized in the following table.

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Publication Date

Summary of Changes


August 2000

New Manual


August 2006

Revision restructuring the manual to include policy and high-level procedures, with recommendations, examples, and background information now available on the Internet.


December 2012

Clarification to policy previously established.


March 2018

Clarification to policy previously established and updated material in Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

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Information in this manual is organized into the following chapters:

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  1. Manual Overview. Introductory information on the purpose and organization of the manual.
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  3. Soil Surveys. Requirements for conducting soil surveys for projects with bridges, retaining walls, slopes and embankments, sign structures, illumination, sound walls, and radio towers.
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  5. Field Operations. Requirements for drilling, sampling, and field testing.
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  7. Soil and Bedrock Logging. Description of material order, level of description, and classification.
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  9. Foundation Design. Guidelines for selecting foundation types, drilled shafts, piling, and requirements for scour analysis.
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  11. Retaining Walls. Requirements for retaining wall selection, layouts, design, and excavation support.
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  13. Slope Stability. Requirements for slope stability design and analysis.
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Direct any questions or comments on the content of this manual to the Director of the Bridge Division, Texas Department of Transportation.

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