Treatment of Unstable Foundation Areas in Alaska's Pavement Management System

by Eric G. Johnson, Alaska Dept of Public Facilities, Anchorage, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


In the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Pavement Management System (PMS) unstable foundation areas are defined as sections of roadway that experience pavement surface distress unrelated to the pavement structure itself (the upper 42 inches). This distress can be caused by such mechanisms as permafrost thaw settlement, permafrost thaw instability, long term differential peat settlement or other soft ground settlement or instability. More than 95% of unstable foundation areas on Alaska's road system are caused by permafrost thaw settlement or instability. Approximately 5% of Alaska's 2300 mile paved road system is affected by unstable foundation areas. To determine the annual cost of re-leveling the unstable foundations, each area was measured along with an estimate of frequency of repair. Segments with more than 15% unstable foundation areas are set aside and not considered in the optimization of the pavement rehabilitation projects. The cost of rehabilitating the foundation is much larger than the cost of rehabilitating the pavement structure.

Subject Headings: Soil settlement | Systems management | Pavement condition | Differential settlement | Foundations | Pavements | Public buildings | Soft soils | Alaska | United States

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