Geotechnical Innovations: Why Seldom Used in Highways?

by Gary L. Klinedinst, Chf.; Geotechnical and Materials Branch, Construction and Maintenance Div., Office of Highway Operations, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,
Jerry A. DiMaggio, Geotechnical Engr.; Geotechnical and Materials Branch, Construction and Maintenance Div., Office of Highway Operations, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 1, Pg. 58-61


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Ground improvement methods introduced within the past decade to American geotechnical engineers offer cost savings, ease of construction and reduced construction time. Amont these innovations are dynamic compaction, stone columns, internally reinforced retaining systems, geotextiles, wick drains and grouting. Although these innovations provide improved shear strength, decreased total and differential settlements and reduced liquefaction potential, their acceptance has been slow. The reasons for the lack of acceptance become apparent after analyzing the key project phases: Development, preparation and contract award, and construction. The project development phase requires harmonious interaction within the contracting agency's organizational structure plus adequate subsurface investigation procedures, suitable design methods and the sharing of risk and liability. The contract preparation and award phase requires careful consideration as to the type of specification, the method of evaluating alternatives, contractor selection and method of measurement. During the construction phase, quality assurance and quality control considerations should be recognized as a shared responsibility between the contracting agency and specialty contractor.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Drainage | Geosynthetics | Grouting | Retaining structures

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