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Geotechnical Projects

Port of Albany Marine Terminal Expansion Albany, NY
Engineer: Childs Engineering, Inc., Medfield, MA

New Albany Port

Modifications to the Port Albany Marine Terminal reclaimed an area of approximately 1500'x 80' in an unstable slope area and provided increased dockside draft to permit service by large oil tankers. LWA backfill minimized lateral earth pressures, while also reducing overburden pressures on the sensitive silts. Transportation, placement and compaction of the LWA soil fill was readily accomplished in a minimum time frame and without logistic difficulties. Peak delivery rates were 1300 tons, approximately 55 truck-loads per day.

Waterfront Structures

  • Allows economical modification to marine terminals.
  • Allows increased dockside draft.
  • Reduces lateral thrust/bending moments.
  • Allows free drainage and control of in-place density.

Retaining Wall Backfill Providence, RI
Engineer: C. E. Maguire Engineers, Mansfield, MA

ProvidenceThis project involved the construction of a retaining wall behind the Rhode Island State House at the Providence River. The weight of the entire project, including the wall, the backfill and a future roadway at the top of the wall, was quite significant. With the area's soft clay strata, there were engineering concerns that too much weight might force the existing bulkhead toward the river. The use of approximately 3,500 cubic yards of LWA fill reduced the total project weight so dramatically that the probability of deep seated bulkhead failure was virtually eliminated.

Bulkheads and Retaining Walls

  • Reduces soil thrust as well as bending moments.
  • Reduces forces against abutment and end slope.
  • Allows free drainage.
  • Improves embankment stability.

Barney Allis Plaza  Kansas City, MO
Architect / Engineer: Marshall & Brown Inc.

Plaza6000 cubic yards of LWA (expanded shale) was used as loose granular fill on top of an existing underground parking garage. The material provided subsurface drainage, weight reduction and long term stability. In addition, the LWA material established the grade and contour for a plaza area which was built on top of the parking structure. The LWA material was graded ASTM C330 3/4" x No. 4.

Landscape & Plaza Fills

  • Minimizes dead loads.
  • Free Draining helps minimize hydrostatic potential.
  • More planters and levels can be added.
  • Easy to transport and install.

Calgary Pipeline Calgary, Canada
Engineers: City of Calgary/Pildysh & Associates Consultants, Ltd.

DitchWater mains must be installed below the level of frost penetration. In Calgary this requires deep, wide trenches. Such trenches are expensive and often dangerous to workers. The insulating properties of LWA fill allowed engineers to reduce trench depth from 3.3 meters to 2.1 meters. This provided safer working conditions and reliable freeze protection with an environmentally "friendly' material. LWA backfill will also afford easier winter excavation for pipe repair, reduce disruption of water supply and street traffic by decreasing construction time, and eliminate the need for synthetic insulating board and wide trenches. With LWA backfill, present and future savings in capital costs alone are expected to be in the millions.

Structure Repair and Rehabilitation

  • Reduces dead load on existing structures.
  • Easy transportation and installation increase productivity.
  • Precise gradations allow for a uniform and controlled in place density.

Landfill Drainage

Landfill Drainage
  • Inert; High chemical stability.
  • Reduces dead loads on pipe.
  • Allows free drainage of leachate/water.
  • Acid insoluble.

Insulating Backfill

  • Substantially reduces ground movement-induced stresses on buried pipes and structures.
  • Counteracts frost heaving, resists freeze/thaw cycles and highly insulating.
  • Inert, non-corrosive and stable.

Runway Repair - Norfolk Naval Air Station Norfolk, VA
Engineer: Patton, Harris, Rust & Associates

JetMuch of this facility was built on marsh land. Poor soil conditions and intense traffic loads produced differential settlements and "alligator" cracking of the taxiway after only 3 years. High soil stability and relief from overburden pressures were provided by substituting compacted LWA for heavy, unstable soil to a depth of 4 feet. LWA material was placed at 6 inch lifts and hand compacted with a distribution vibratory plate. Field compaction and projected yields were monitored using a nuclear densometer. The compacted base was then paved and air traffic restored in a timely manner. Differential settlement was economically solved.

Fills Over Poor Soils and Marsh Lands

  • Allows otherwise unusable land to be reclaimed and developed.
  • Design elevations are achieved with low fill weight.
  • Controlled gradations assure uniform and consistent in-place density.
  • Long-term settlement is controlled and reduced. Controlled fill allows uniform load distribution.

Embankment Fill - Louisiana DOT, D Test Project Morgan City, LA

ScraperHighway embankment fills over unstable soils present particularly difficult problems. Uneven settlement can produce a "Roller Coaster" ride, as well as significant maintenance problems. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development constructed a series of roadway test sections with sand fill 9.5 ft. in depth. In one section, 2.5 ft. of sand was replaced with 2.5 ft. of LWA fill. The reduction in weight, coupled with the increase in long term stability provided by the LWA's high angle of internal friction, reduced settlement 40% to 60% as compared to the all-sand fill. Considerable savings in highway maintenance, repairs and replacement can be realized if differential settlement is reduced.

Underground Conduits & Pipelines

Car & Truck
  • Reduces dead loads on buried structures.
  • Allows construction of higher fills.
  • Minimizes hydrostatic potential.
  • Provides thermal insulation to underground facilities.
  • Economic alternative to flow-able fills.