Settlement Control Of A Road Embankment Using Vertical Drains

Tu, Wei
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
A grade separation was required to allow uninterrupted traffic crossing for a busy rail spur and a county road. The grade separation was achieved by creating a 30-foot (9-meter) high embankment that incorporates two multiplate tunnels and allows the passage of a rail spur and an existing county road. The site is located in an abandoned meander channel in the floodplain of the Mississippi River, near Osceola, Arkansas, and is underlain by more than 40 feet (12 meters) of soft clay and interlayered clays, sands and silts. Without soil improvement, the post-construction settlement would exceed 3 feet, slowly crushing the proposed tunnel structure and cutting off the railroad. Preloading, combined with vertical drains, was used to accelerate the consolidation of the underlying soil layers and to reduce the post-construction settlement under working loads. Six settlement plates were installed to monitor the progress of consolidation under surcharge load. The Asaoka observational method and the hyperbolic fitting method were used to analyze the measured settlement data to predict the end of primary settlement. The in-situ consolidation coefficient, ch, was back calculated from the measured settlement data. The stress release caused by the removal of the preloading surcharge load and the tunnel installation was determined using a Plaxis 3-D finite element model. The measured and predicted settlement using Hansbo's analytical solution demonstrated reasonable agreement. Early removal of the surcharge and construction of the tunnel prior to reaching the end of primary settlement was accomplished by analyzing the post-excavation stress reduction achieved via tunnel construction.
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