Our History

Our history is made up of record breaking depths, first time applications and unique solutions for some of the country’s most complicated projects. Below are a few highlights of more than six decades of geotechnical engineering.
1955

When It All Began...

Nicholson was founded by Arthur Nicholson in Pittsburgh, PA. Nicholson operated as a regional pile driving company before evolving into a full-service structural support geotechnical contractor in the late 1960s.

Nicholson operated as a regional pile driving company in the 1950s

Shepaug Dam

Nicholson installed 53-strand anchors at Shepaug Dam in Connecticut. At the time, these were the largest anchors in the United States.

Nicholson installing anchors at Shepaug Dam
1988

Shepaug Dam

Nicholson installed 53-strand anchors at Shepaug Dam in Connecticut. At the time, these were the largest anchors in the United States.

1990

Lake Lynn Dam

Nicholson installed 58-strand, 320-foot long anchors at Lake Lynn Dam in West Virginia.  At the time, these were the largest and longest anchors installed in the United States.

Nicholson installing anchors at Lake Lynn Dam

Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

Nicholson installed 536 micropiles at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to stabilize the structure, which had settled as much as 18 inches prior to opening.

Nicholson installed micropiles at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
1997

Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

Nicholson installed 536 micropiles at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to stabilize the structure, which had settled as much as 18 inches prior to opening.

2001

World Trade Center Recovery

A Nicholson-led joint venture installed nearly 1,000 anchors to stabilize the World Trade Center bathtub and facilitate recovery efforts.

Nicholson helped stabilize the World Trade Center bathtub and facilitate recovery efforts

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Nicholson constructed a diaphragm wall support of excavation system for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center project in Washington, DC.

Nicholson constructed a diaphragm wall at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
2003

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Nicholson constructed a diaphragm wall support of excavation system for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center project in Washington, DC.

2006

World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Nicholson performed extensive geotechnical work at the WTC Transportation Hub, including jet grouting and micropile installation through and under the active #1 Subway Line.

Nicholson performed extensive geotechnical work at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Abingdon Heights Condominium Tower

Nicholson constructed a 50-foot-high cantilevered retaining wall with barrettes for the Abingdon Heights Condominium Tower in Arlington, VA.  This is believed to be the tallest top-down cantilevered wall in the world.

Nicholson constructed a 50ft high cantilevered retaining wall with barrettes
2007

Abingdon Heights Condominium Tower

Nicholson constructed a 50-foot-high cantilevered retaining wall with barrettes for the Abingdon Heights Condominium Tower in Arlington, VA.  This is believed to be the tallest top-down cantilevered wall in the world.

2009

McCook Reservoir

Nicholson installed 14,000  linear feet of grout curtain around the McCook Reservoir for the combined sewer overflow (CSO) system. The entire grouting process was computerized through the use of GROUT I.T., a state-of-the-art computerized grouting control and data collection system developed by Nicholson’s parent company, Soletanche Bachy.  At the time, the McCook Reservoir project was the largest computerized grouting project in the country.

Nicholson installed a grout curtain around the McCook Reservoir for the combined sewer overflow

Columbia University's Manhattanville Development

Approximately 154,000 square feet of diaphragm wall was constructed top-down to support Columbia University’s Manhattanville Development in Harlem, New York City.

Nicholson installed a diaphragm wall to support Columbia University's Manhattanville Development
2010

Columbia University's Manhattanville Development

Approximately 154,000 square feet of diaphragm wall was constructed top-down to support Columbia University’s Manhattanville Development in Harlem, New York City.

2011

Port Miami Tunnel Project

Nicholson installed a mortar grout mix to fill voids in rock layer 7 ahead of the TBM operations in some of the most unpredictable ground conditions in the country for the Port Miami Tunnel Project (POMT.) Grout was installed onshore at Watson Island and Dodge Island using up to three drills and off shore on the Government Cut channel between the two islands with up to ten barges and leads, working 24 hour shifts around the active cruise ship schedule.

Nicholson installed grout mix to fill voids ahead of the TBM operations at the Port of Miami

Provo City Center Temple

After a massive fire destroyed everything but the exterior façade, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints decided to restore a historic Tabernacle in Provo, Utah, and convert it into a Temple in the process. Nicholson was tasked with developing and constructing an elaborate underpinning system so that two levels of basement could be constructed below the structure. The work also included the construction of a support of excavation system around the entire complex and a ground water and cutoff wall and dewater system.

Nicholson constructed an elaborate underpinning system for the Provo City Center Temple
2012

Provo City Center Temple

After a massive fire destroyed everything but the exterior façade, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints decided to restore a historic Tabernacle in Provo, Utah, and convert it into a Temple in the process. Nicholson was tasked with developing and constructing an elaborate underpinning system so that two levels of basement could be constructed below the structure. The work also included the construction of a support of excavation system around the entire complex and a ground water and cutoff wall and dewater system.

2013

Norris Cut to Fisher Island

Nicholson was awarded the design-build contract to replace an existing force main from the Virginia Key Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant (CDWWTP) under Biscayne Bay Norris Cut to Fisher Island. The contract included the planning, engineering, design, permitting, procurement, construction/installation, testing and the start-up of the replacement force main.

Nicholson led all facets of this design-build project

Wanapum Dam

Post-tension anchors were selected to repair a 65-foot long by two-inch wide crack that spanned the length of one of Wanapum Dam’s monoliths. The entire drilling, grouting and anchor tensioning processes were performed with the assistance of divers using remote cameras to allow engineers at the surface to witness the underwater operations.

Nicholson installed anchors to repair a 65ft by 2in wide crack in the Wanapum Dam
2014

Wanapum Dam

Post-tension anchors were selected to repair a 65-foot long by two-inch wide crack that spanned the length of one of Wanapum Dam’s monoliths. The entire drilling, grouting and anchor tensioning processes were performed with the assistance of divers using remote cameras to allow engineers at the surface to witness the underwater operations.