The Nicholson Drill Down
Mary Ellen Large, P.E., BC.GEMary Ellen Large, P.E., BC.GE
Behind the scenes and beneath the surface with
Manager of Client Care
Mary Ellen Large, P.E., BC.GE

Karstbusters: Nicholson at Your Service

Pittsburgh, PA

Want to hear a scary story? The country is made up of approximately 20% karstic subsurface material - and all 50 states contain rocks with potential for karst development.

It can be pretty scary out there for companies who are building their projects on karst. If your project was a movie, karst is definitely the unexplained creaky floorboard, the book that keeps moving and the shadow you think you keep seeing behind yourbed.

But, fear not! Nicholson's  Karstbusters are well-versed in the mysterious and foreboding ways of this underground menace - and, we have a full karstbusting toolkit to overpower this specter of the soils:


As a national leader, Nicholson brings close to 70 years of experience designing and constructing geotechnical solutions for all types of soils, including karst. We bring the best value to our client’s projects with early involvement to gain the best understanding of the project challenges and priorities and to evaluate potential solutions while keeping constructability, cost, schedule, etc. as our top priorities. Our in-depth industry knowledge and understanding of subsurface conditions allows our engineers to routinely collaborate on designs with owners and their engineers to develop constructable, design-build, cost-efficient geotechnical solutions that meet a range of project demands.


Working in karst is unpredictable and in construction, unpredictability can strike fear (and risk!) From design to construction, Nicholson brings the experience required to understand the tools and methods for drilling and constructing in widely ranging and rapidly changing karstic ground conditions. This in-depth knowledge allows us to pivot quickly in response to unexpected voids and soft infill materials and define termination limits for foundation solutions.


Nicholson employs Measurement While Drilling (MWD) to provide real-time drilling data that help quantify ground conditions. When employed in karstic conditions, these data help affirm micropile termination depths.

Want to know more?

If you have a similar project or questions, we can help. Get in touch with an expert today.

Brian Barkauskas, P.E.
2400 Ansys Drive
Suite 303
Canonsburg, PA 15317
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