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Geotechnical Design Manual
The Geo-Environmental Section, Engineering and Asset Management Units Geotechnical Engineering Program is responsible for developing and maintaining the ODOT Geotechnical Design Manual (GDM).  This program is administered by Jon Guido, ODOT Senior Geotechnical Engineer.  If you have any questions about the Geotechnical Design Manual or the Geotechnical Engineering Program in general, please feel free to contact Jon Guido at 503-986-3993, or by email.
Manual Status
The November 2014 version of the ODOT Geotechnical Design Manual is now available.  The manual is only available through this ODOT Geo-Environmental website.  See the GDM Updates section below for the latest GDM Update Summary.
The GDM changes apply to new design projects as of the effective date of December 1, 2014.  New projects for ODOT designed projects are those that do not have an approved DAP by the effective date.  New projects for outsourced projects are those that do not have an executed work order contract for PE.  However, existing projects may make use of new changes, if agreed to by the CPM or Project Team Leader.
GDM Downloads

It is the responsibility of the manual user to use the current version. Downloadable updates will be posted on this website and revision notices will be sent to ODOT staff and other users.   All GDM manual documents are printable Adobe .pdf versions.

Link to New Version

 November 2015 Geotechnical Design Manual (GDM)

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Project Geotechnical Planning

Chapter 3 Field Investigation

Chapter 4 Soil and Rock Classification and Logging

Chapter 5 Engineering Properties of Soil and Rock

Chapter 6 Seismic Design

Chapter 7 Slope Stability Analysis
Chapter 8 Foundation Design
Chapter 9 Embankments - Analysis and Design
Chapter 10 Soil Cuts - Analysis and Design
Chapter 11 Ground Improvement


Chapter 12 Rock Cuts - Analysis, Design and Mitigation

Chapter 13 Landslide Investigation and Mitigation

Chapter 14 Geosynthetic Design

Chapter 15 Retaining Structures

Chapter 16 Foundation Design for Signs Signals, Luminaires, Sound Walls and Buildings

Chapter 17 Culverts and Trenchless Technology Design

Chapter 18 Construction Recommendations and Report

Chapter 19 Unstable Slope Management
Chapter 20 Material Source / Disposal Site Investigation and Report
Chapter 21 Geotechnical Reporting and Documentation
Chapter 22 Noise Barriers
Previous Versions
​November 2014 Geotechnical Design Manual

September 2013 Geotechnical Design Manual

Volume 2
Older versions of the GDM are available upon request.



GDM Updates

Updates to the GDM are planned to be issued yearly. Changes and suggestions are to be submitted using the process described in Chapter 1 of the manual. A list of the updates are shown below as they are posted. 
GDM Updates Summary April 2012   
GDM Updates Summary April 2011 
GDM Updates Summary April 2010 
GDM Updates Summary December 2009 
GDM Updates Summary June 2009

GDM Updates Summary November 2008 
GDM Update Summary April 2008   

Technical Bulletins
Technical Bulletins may be issued between formal updates of the GDM.  The Bulletins are intended to provide immediate guidance on process, procedures and design information for users until the next manual update, at which time the bulletin may be incorporated into the GDM. Technical Bulletins will be shown by date.
Related References


ODOT Soils and Rock Classification Manual, 1986
Programmatic Biological Opinion for Drilling, 2004
FHWA Rockfall Catchment Area Design Guide SPR-3(032), 2001
FHWA Checklist and Guidelines for Review of Geotechnical Reports and Preliminary Plans and Specifications, 2003
ODOT Research Report “FHWA Assessment and Mitigation of Liquifaction Hazards to Bridge Approach Embankments in Oregon” SPR 361, 2002
NCHRP Comprehensive Specification for the Seismic Design of Bridges Report 472, 2002
OSU Report to ODOT “Recommended Guidelines for Liquifaction Evaluations using Ground Motions From Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis, 2005
FHWA Geotechnical Engineering Circulars
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications