Earth Systems conducted a geotechnical engineering investigation for the140,000 sq.ft. Target Store #2759 in San Luis Obispo, CA. The store is the major anchor of a new retail shopping center; ancillary improvements included truck loading docks, Portland cement concrete, and asphalt concrete parking lots. The site was characterized by soft soil conditions and a shallow groundwater table. It was also below the flood elevation of a nearby creek, necessitating the placement of several feet of fill. To meet the developer’s fast-track time frame and stringent retailer design requirements, Earth Systems developed a solution that combined the use of prefabricated wick drains with a temporary surcharge load. Over 8 feet of engineered fill was placed over a field of over 7,000 prefabricated wick drains, and then surcharged with additional fill and monitored. This approach reduced the settlement period from several years to four months, allowing the project to be constructed on schedule and in conformance with the retailer’s requirements. During construction, Earth Systems provided grading observation, materials testing, and special inspection services.