The National Academies

SHRP 2 R02 [Completed]

Geotechnical Solutions for Soil Improvement, Rapid Embankment Construction and

  Project Data
Funds: $3,707,130
Research Agency: Iowa State University
Principal Investigator: Vernon R. Schaefer
Effective Date: 9/25/2007
Completion Date: 12/31/2014

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status

The technology selection tool and resource identified more than 40 geotechnical solutions to common embankment, cut slope, structure/foundation interface, and pavement foundation issues.
This web-based tool can accelerate the design and construction process by providing practitioners with a convenient and efficient way to identify and apply geotechnical solutions to site]specific conditions and issues based on specific performance requirements. With this tool practitioners can select advanced techniques with confidence and realize benefits of cost-effective and time-saving innovations.
GeoTechTools, the online technology selection tool and resource, is currently in the Beta testing phase and is available at https://www.geotechtools.org.

The full report and description of how technologies were selected for inclusion in GeoTechTools are available at www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/168148.aspx.

Selecting an appropriate geoconstruction technology to use in transportation systems is a complex undertaking. It often depends on many problem-specific and site-specific factors.

This project had four objectives:
1. Identify existing alternative materials and systems for constructing embankments and roadways over unfavorable ground conditions;
2. Develop or compile design guidelines, procedures, and QA/QC test procedures for construction of ground improvements;
3. Develop performance-based construction specifications for selected soil improvement technologies; and
4. Determine which existing and emerging technologies offer promise for treating areas of unfavorable subsurface conditions.

This project identified and assessed methods to advance the use of geoconstruction technologies. The products of this research include design procedures and guidance; model specifications for geotechnical materials and systems; and Geotech Tools, a web-based information and technology selection system. The system was developed to access critical information on geoconstruction technologies and to provide a tool that can help practitioners decide which technologies are applicable to site-specific conditions. The system is based on three project elements: (1) construction of new embankments and roadways over unstable soils, (2) widening and expansion of existing roadways and embankments, and (3) stabilization of the working platform. Geotech Tools includes 46 ground improvement and geoconstruction technologies and processes applicable to the three elements. It contains a technology catalog and a technology selection assistance tool, as well as sections on geotechnical design philosophy and a geotechnical glossary.

Project Status: This project is completed.

Product Availability: The final report and development report are available as prepublication documents. Geotech Tools is available at https://geotechtools.org/.

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