Location

Chicago, Illinois

Session Start Date

4-29-2013

Session End Date

5-4-2013

Abstract

The Transportation Authorities and Highway Engineers around the world are facing different types of challenges today than their counterparts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These challenges include developing new highways and bridges as well as retrofitting of existing roads and bridges deteriorated due to aging or increased vehicle loading. Frequencies of deterioration of existing roads and imminent bridge failures forced many Highway Authorities to evaluate the existing roads and bridges and prioritize their retrofitting to comply with current specifications and future conditions. The new challenges of today include, but not limited to: a) Construction over poor foundation materials such as organic soils, old landfills, expansive and collapsing soils and non-availability of alternative routes; b) Right-of-way restrictions including construction in urban areas and proximity of existing structures; c) Dealing with environmental concerns that were not considered critical in the past and complying with stricter environmental and safety regulations.; d) Utilization of certain native on-site materials (considered problematic such as shale) in back fills and embankments; e) Higher vehicle loading as well as increase in size and number of vehicles; f) Expectations of the road users for better driving conditions, safety improvements and riding quality. These challenges can be overcome by applying innovative ideas and using modern technology during planning, design and construction stages of highway development. This paper identifies some of the new challenges of today based on past history and presents various tools to meet these challenges. With better and faster methods of analysis, use of new construction materials (such as low density fill materials, geo-synthetics, geo-foam, tensors), utilization of new procedures (such as soil stabilization, reinforced earth, soil nailing ) and implementation of effective planning, execution and quality control, these challenges can be overcome in an efficient and cost effective manner. This paper also identifies various current geotechnical practices, which may be considered inadequate for modern-day highway design and construction, but have not been updated for decades. In conclusion, recommendations for revisions to inadequate geotechnical practices are presented in this paper in order to provide safe and sound design and construction guidelines from geotechnical viewpoint.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Seventh Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

4-29-2013

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2013 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM May 4th, 12:00 AM

Geotechnical Challenges in Highway Engineering in Twenty First Century: Lessons from the Past Experiences and New Technologies

Chicago, Illinois

The Transportation Authorities and Highway Engineers around the world are facing different types of challenges today than their counterparts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These challenges include developing new highways and bridges as well as retrofitting of existing roads and bridges deteriorated due to aging or increased vehicle loading. Frequencies of deterioration of existing roads and imminent bridge failures forced many Highway Authorities to evaluate the existing roads and bridges and prioritize their retrofitting to comply with current specifications and future conditions. The new challenges of today include, but not limited to: a) Construction over poor foundation materials such as organic soils, old landfills, expansive and collapsing soils and non-availability of alternative routes; b) Right-of-way restrictions including construction in urban areas and proximity of existing structures; c) Dealing with environmental concerns that were not considered critical in the past and complying with stricter environmental and safety regulations.; d) Utilization of certain native on-site materials (considered problematic such as shale) in back fills and embankments; e) Higher vehicle loading as well as increase in size and number of vehicles; f) Expectations of the road users for better driving conditions, safety improvements and riding quality. These challenges can be overcome by applying innovative ideas and using modern technology during planning, design and construction stages of highway development. This paper identifies some of the new challenges of today based on past history and presents various tools to meet these challenges. With better and faster methods of analysis, use of new construction materials (such as low density fill materials, geo-synthetics, geo-foam, tensors), utilization of new procedures (such as soil stabilization, reinforced earth, soil nailing ) and implementation of effective planning, execution and quality control, these challenges can be overcome in an efficient and cost effective manner. This paper also identifies various current geotechnical practices, which may be considered inadequate for modern-day highway design and construction, but have not been updated for decades. In conclusion, recommendations for revisions to inadequate geotechnical practices are presented in this paper in order to provide safe and sound design and construction guidelines from geotechnical viewpoint.