Engineering Planning of Dike and Polder Airports

by Frank T. Wheby, (F.ASCE), Pres.; Frank T. Wheby Ltd., Consulting Civ. and Geotechnical Engrs., Evanston, Ill.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 3, Pg. 245-255

Document Type: Journal Paper


A dike and polder airport is one constructed on land reclaimed from the bed of a lake or the sea. The area reclaimed is known by the Dutch word polder; a dike completely encircles the polder, maintaining it in a dry condition. Engineering planning of such a structure is centered on four important considerations: (1)Stability of the dike; (2)protection against wave action; (3)constructability; and (4)cost. Stability is assured through a program of intensive foundation explorations and sliding-surface analyses of the dike slopes. Protection against wave action is provided by manmade or natural armor units, designed to resist storms that may be expected to occur in a very long period—often 1,000 yr or more. Constructability is achieved through the use of high-capacity dredges and other marine equipment and by taking full advantage of natural local materials for the bulk of the dike embankments.

Subject Headings: Levees and dikes | Airports and airfields | Wave action | Dredged materials | Land reclamation | Lakes | Seas and oceans | Foundations

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