Tough Conditions, Innovative Solutions

by Paul A. Roy, P.E., (M.ASCE), Assoc. Vice Pres.; Frederic R. Harris Inc., Boston, MA,
James R. Lambrechts, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Haley & Aldrich Inc., Boston, MA,
Derek S. Winsor, P.E., Div. Dir.; Mott MacDonald Group Ltd., Croydon, U.K.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 4, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


Two major innovations in U.S. construction practice are part of the solution to a complex and difficult portion of the Massachusetts Highway Department's Central Artery/Tunnel project. Deep soil mixing (DSM) and tunnel jacking, both extensions of technologies used overseas, are helping engineers and contractors to work in extremely weak soil conditions in the area. More than 900,000 cu yd of soft clay and organic soils are being cement-stabilized in the deep soil mixing process. These stabilized soils will hold back lateral earth loads and Fort Point Channel tidal waters, resist basal heave in large open excavations and provide permanent foundation support for cut-and-cover tunnels. The second major innovation is the jacking of full-section, multilane tunnels beneath the heavily trafficked railroad yard at the busy South Station Transportation Center. Three separate tunnels are advancing 35 to 64 ft under active tracks.

Subject Headings: Soil mixing | Tunnels | Soil cement | Soft soils | Innovation | Soil properties | Rail transportation

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