Deviations From Design Impact Performance Of An Aggregate Pier Supported Embankment

Hodkinson, Jay L.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Replacement of an aging twin span river crossing in Vermont required a temporary bridge to accommodate traffic during construction. Soils beneath the temporary approach embankment consisted of very soft organic clayey silt underlain by interbedded, loose alluvial fine sand and silt/clayey silt. Reinforcement was required for the southern temporary approach embankment to limit settlement and to increase global stability factors of safety. A ground improvement design was developed using Rammed Aggregate PierĀ® reinforcement and was included in the contract documents as an FHWA Category II Experimental Feature. Instrumentation intended to document the performance of the supported embankment was installed. Piers were then constructed and monitoring commenced as embankment and bridge construction occurred. Weekly instrumentation data reports indicated continuing excess pore water pressure, settlement, and lateral deformation of the subgrade soils as the embankment and temporary bridge abutment was constructed. In response to the unanticipated monitoring results, further investigation indicated that significant deviations from the conditions and basis upon which the ground support design was developed were made during construction. This paper discusses these deviations and their specific impacts to embankment support performance, how these deviations occurred, the role that the ground support system played in maintaining global stability, measures taken to limit further detrimental impacts to the embankment, and provides recommendations for contract document preparation and construction oversight to prevent similar situations from occurring on future projects.
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