Location

New York, New York

Session Start Date

4-13-2004

Session End Date

4-17-2004

Abstract

The use of lightweight-fill materials for highway construction increased significantly worldwide during the 1990s. Predominant with this trend was the increased use of cellular geosynthetics (geofoams and geocombs), especially block-molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam, on highway and bridge embankments. EPS geofoam is increasingly recognized as an important tool for reducing overall cost of highways through "accelerated construction". Thus, it was appropriate that lightweight-fill materials, mostly EPS, were the materials of choice on Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project, commonly known as the "Big Dig". EPS highway embankments have been constructed, as part of a cost-and schedule-initiative, replacing the original design concepts for eight transition highway structures on a recent CA/T construction contract. The use of EPS-block geofoam on the CA/T included the first-time implementation of newly developed NCHRP research and AASHTO based design guidelines, material/product specifications as well as formulating innovative solutions to several technical challenges. These challenges centered on relatively tall and slender EPS fills placed over soft soils subjected to periodic flooding and seismic loading within a crowded urban environment. This paper presents a detailed outline of the design process together with the impacts of the buoyancy conditions and seismic loading on the design of EPS highway embankments. Also included is a discussion of other lightweight-fill materials such as geocombs (considered but not used) and expanded-shale aggregate (used in limited quantities).

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Fifth Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

4-13-2004

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2004 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 13th, 12:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

Design of Lightweight Fills for Road Embankments on Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project

New York, New York

The use of lightweight-fill materials for highway construction increased significantly worldwide during the 1990s. Predominant with this trend was the increased use of cellular geosynthetics (geofoams and geocombs), especially block-molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam, on highway and bridge embankments. EPS geofoam is increasingly recognized as an important tool for reducing overall cost of highways through "accelerated construction". Thus, it was appropriate that lightweight-fill materials, mostly EPS, were the materials of choice on Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project, commonly known as the "Big Dig". EPS highway embankments have been constructed, as part of a cost-and schedule-initiative, replacing the original design concepts for eight transition highway structures on a recent CA/T construction contract. The use of EPS-block geofoam on the CA/T included the first-time implementation of newly developed NCHRP research and AASHTO based design guidelines, material/product specifications as well as formulating innovative solutions to several technical challenges. These challenges centered on relatively tall and slender EPS fills placed over soft soils subjected to periodic flooding and seismic loading within a crowded urban environment. This paper presents a detailed outline of the design process together with the impacts of the buoyancy conditions and seismic loading on the design of EPS highway embankments. Also included is a discussion of other lightweight-fill materials such as geocombs (considered but not used) and expanded-shale aggregate (used in limited quantities).