American Society of Civil Engineers

New Jersey Turnpike, Interchange 16W: Embankments over Deep Soft Compressible Clays in the Meadowlands

by R. D. Bunting, P.E., M.ASCE, (AECOM USA, Inc., 30 Knightsbridge Road, Suite 520, Piscataway, NJ 08854. E-mail: and A. S. Crincoli, P.E., M.ASCE, (AECOM USA, Inc., 30 Knightsbridge Road, Suite 520, Piscataway, NJ 08854. E-mail:
Section: Foundations and Ground Improvement, pp. 728-737, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Geo-Frontiers 2011: Advances in Geotechnical Engineering
Abstract: Interchange 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike is located within a region generally referred to as the Hackensack Meadowlands. The former glacial Lake Hackensack is characterized by post glacial deposition of deep (between 24.4 to over 30.5 meters, 80 to over 100-feet) stratified silty clays and clays usually very soft and highly compressible. Due to the increased volume of traffic, partly due to the construction of a new NFL Football Stadium, Interchange 16W had to be reconfigured to improve traffic flow with Route 3 and the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ. Embankment heights up to 10.4 meters (34 feet) were required for the new ramp configurations. Estimated settlement up to 1.3 meters (52 inches) was calculated. An extensive use of wick drains as deep as 37.8 meters (124-feet), high strength geotextile, two-stage MSE Walls, and surcharging placed in two phases were required to successfully construct the ramp embankments. Cutoff sheetpile walls and a monitoring program were incorporated to protect the existing embankments and roads from deformation. This paper will compare the actual results from an extensive field instrumentation program to the geotechnical design assumptions. The use of the field instrumentation program was critical to providing a successful finished project safely and on schedule.

ASCE Subject Headings:
New Jersey
Highways and roads
Soft soils