The Court Street Project is a three-story complex encompassing commercial, retail, and office space. It houses such tenants as Abercrombie & Fitch, Pottery Barn, and Banana Republic, as well as a salon and a restaurant, and features a central plaza and a wide curving stairway. The first story is of concrete construction with concrete columns and a spanning structural slab; the second and third stories are of steel post and beam construction with steel stud infill and concrete decks. Basement retaining walls and concrete and steel shear walls are included. The project is in the heart of the San Luis Obispo downtown district, surrounded on three sides by major traffic arteries, which had to remain open during the construction period. Challenges associated with this project centered on keeping the site accessible during earthwork operations, keeping sidewalks accessible for heavy pedestrian traffic, deep excavations near the property line, preserving cultural and archeological resources, maintaining the integrity of the adjacent structures and improvements, and conducting work within an area of restricted space and limited access. Also, as the remnants of the older buildings were removed, the presence of hazardous materials associated with past usage of the buildings was discovered. This resulted in the removal of the affected materials, which required excavations up to 20 feet deep. Additional project elements included demolition and removal of an existing parking lot, retrofitting and augmentation of an existing underground creek wall, and construction of a caisson foundation embedded in bedrock. Earth Systems completed a soils engineering investigation, providing preliminary geotechnical recommendations to guide the development of project plans and specifications. During construction, the Earth Systems team performed grading observations and testing during earthwork operations (including full-time observation during the backfilling of the deep excavations), special inspection of caisson construction, special inspection of steel, and special inspection of concrete.