Stabilizing a Crater Rim

by Jeff Kalani, P.E., (A.M.ASCE), Geotech. Engr.; URS Corp. in Honolulu, HI,
David Kwong, P.E., (M.ASCE), Geotech. Engr.; URS Corp., Honolulu, HI,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 9, Pg. A2-A9

Document Type: Feature article


A geocell and geogrid reinforced soil slope concept was selected to stabilize approximately 120 m of eroding and unstable portions of the crater rim at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Hillside erosion had encroached to within inches of existing gravesites, and designers had to find a solutoin that would not disturb the graves, nor require workers to travel through the cemetery. Based on the results of a preliminary design-phase geotechnical investigation, an approximately 120 m long, 3 to 10 m high reinforced soil slope was designed. In order to construct the reinforced slope, a temporary, near-vertical construction slope as well as a narrow access path along the top of the slip scarp were established. Construction of the reinforced soil slope was rapid despite the wet season and very restrictive access. The flexibility of the geogrid and geocell reinforcement system permitted timely design modifications that not only avoided potential delays but also resulted in substantial cost and time savings. The use of geosynthetics was cost effective, allowed the restoration of the steep crater rim in difficult and hilly terrain, and provided area for additional memorial markers.

Subject Headings: Soil stabilization | Slope stability | Geogrids | Erosion | Construction management | Benefit cost ratios | Terrain

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