Posts By: Katie Bocskor

Quick Repair of Track Subgrade & Railroad Right-of-Way

GEOWEB® Geocells — Quick Fix, Long Term Protection Be prepared to repair washouts and track issues quickly and economically with one solution. The GEOWEB® 3D Soil Stabilization System is a proven 40-year solution, delivering emergency repair for track and railroad right-of-way embankments, bridges and channels. Stock readily available allows for fast deployment by local railroad crews. Contact us for more information about our GEOWEB Emergency Repair Kit Stocking Program. Wash Out Repair & Armoring: Right-of-Way Embankments | Earthen Berms | Bridge Protection | Drainage Channels Variable Infill Options: Soil/Vegetation | Aggregate | Concrete Economical Solution: Less Down Time: GEOWEB material is quickly installed to repair any size emergency and minimize track disruptions. Installation Benefit: Railroads can install the GEOWEB material with their own crews. Reduce Rock Size: Rock confined in the GEOWEB structure replaces expensive rip-rap, reducing aggregate size up to 10 times. Fast Deployment: Strong, yet light-weight GEOWEB sections are easy to transport and quick to deploy, even in difficult site access areas. Most repairs do not require large construction equipment.   Construction & Repair Versatility The GEOWEB Soil Stabilization System has been successfully employed for railroad construction and repair for over 40 years. GEOWEB sections are packaged in collapsed, easy-to-handle… Read more »

Presto Geosystems: Safe, Open, and Ready to Help

Like all of you, Presto Geosystems is closely monitoring COVID-19 events as they unfold, and we will continue to keep the best interest of our employees, partners and customers at the forefront of our operations. While the locations from which we are working and our methods of communication may have changed, our commitment to you has not. Presto Geosystems is still open for business, fulfilling orders and keeping your construction projects moving forward. With the recent travel restrictions, our team of design engineers, business managers and partners are happy to meet with you virtually to discuss your project needs. If you are working from your home office—we’d love to meet your kids or dogs! Keep your construction projects on schedule by utilizing our online design/installation tools, customized design support and free online learning courses. SpecMaker Tool: create a CSI spec in minutes. Complimentary Project Evaluations: work with our design engineer. On-Demand / Live Webcasts: Earn PDH credits. We are committed to delivering quality products and services when you need them!

FHWA Repeals its Proprietary Product Rule, Allows Geosystems’ Products to be Specified

By: William G. Handlos, P.E. Design engineers received good news on September 23, 2019, when the Federal Highway Administration repealed 23 CFR 635.411(a)-(e). Colloquially known as the “Proprietary Product Rule”, the long-standing provision made it difficult to use patented or proprietary products or technologies in federally funded projects, unless they first received a seldom-granted Public Interest Finding or classified the project as experimental. Specialty engineered and innovative systems, such as the GEOWEB® soil stabilization (geocells) lineup of products have at times been difficult to specify because there is simply nothing quite like it in the marketplace. While other geocell manufacturers exist, the Geosystems products have patented innovations making it unique in the products’ ability to perform far better than other “or equal” systems. Now, engineers will no longer be constrained to the lowest common denominator offerings from the marketplace and instead can use technically advanced materials that reduce costs, speed construction and save money. According to Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason, “This final rule promotes innovation by empowering states to choose which state-of-the-art materials, tools, and products best meet their needs for the construction and upkeep of America’s transportation infrastructure.”       GEOWEB® — Most Complete Multicomponent Geocellular… Read more »

The Integration of Pervious & Impervious Pavements to Address Green Infrastructure Needs

Written by: Samantha Justice, P.E. Green infrastructure incentive programs have become commonplace for new construction and redevelopment regulations. Five of the most common incentives include: Development incentives such as expedited permitting, decreased fees, zoning upgrades and stormwater requirement reductions. Grants Rebates and installation financing Awards and recognition programs Stormwater fee discounts A subset of green infrastructure, stormwater management usually includes the consideration of pervious and porous pavements. Traditional asphalt and concrete parking lot surfaces create significant stormwater runoff, and in many municipalities, cannot be used in expansion or new build situations. When the paved area is constructed completely with a porous pavement, stormwater concerns are greatly reduced. Depending upon the choice, pavements that return rainwater to the aquifer not only nearly eliminate stormwater runoff – they also reduce sheet flow and point load erosion problems at the pavement edges, and reduce need for additional stormwater infrastructure to convey the water away from the area. Porous pavement systems can be directly integrated with asphalt and concrete surfaces to reduce such failures and reduce or eliminate the need for stormwater conveyance channels, pipes, and swales. As a result, downstream stormwater pipe systems see less silt and less water which requires less maintenance… Read more »

Are you using the right construction access mat for the job?

By: William G. Handlos, P.E. Research shows that GEOTERRA® and GEOTERRA® GTO structural mats provide a ground-surface reinforcement layer to support heavy loads over soft subgrades. More cost-effective than other reinforcement mat systems, the GEOTERRA mats can be utilized for either temporary or permanent applications and are reusable. Offering high crush and flexural strength, the GEOTERRA mats have demonstrated the ability to handle the forces from some of the heaviest wheeled and tracked vehicles under severe conditions. Scope of Test: Performance testing of the GEOTERRA and GEOTERRA GTO mat systems was conducted at the University of Kansas Geotechnical Laboratory over weak to intermediate subgrades with CBR values ranging from 1% to 4%. A total of twelve tests were conducted to identify threshold and limit conditions, to create a data-set for modeling, and to determine the equivalent crushed aggregate base. Testing Procedure: All of the test sections were subjected to 40 kN (9 kip) cyclic loading on a 300 mm (12 in) diameter plate. Earth pressure cells were placed over of the subgrade to measure vertical interface stress distribution. Loading plate displacements were measured by the displacement transducer inside the actuator. Test Observations: The following conclusions were determined for the GEOTERRA… Read more »

Porous Pavements Myth Busters: Cost

Written By: William G Handlos, P.E. Does a porous pavement solution cost more? Porous pavements actually are less expensive to install than impervious concrete or asphalt when total project costs are considered. When evaluating parking lot construction costs for porous vs. impervious alternatives, the following cost “buckets” must be considered. Traditional pavements such as bituminous asphalt or Portland cement concrete enjoy low cost and ubiquitous installation contractors. This may lead one to think that choosing a porous pavement would lead to higher overall project costs… But that is a myth.   Most everything else about traditional parking lot construction is far more expensive than the porous pavement alternative. Traditional hard-surface pavements require inlet structures, castings and covers for inlets and manholes, underground pipe, outfall structures, and detention ponds. Costs & Maintenance of Stormwater Ponds Detention ponds have three major cost drivers. Land costs to locate a pond can vary wildly depending upon commercial real estate values, but it is not unusual for land to be upwards of $250,000/acre even in small markets. But the impact of the land utilized for detention ponds doesn’t end there. There is the lost opportunity cost for the unrealized rental or income value lost when… Read more »

Porous Pavements Myth Busters: Snow Removal

Written By: Samantha Justice, P.E. What You Need to Know About Removing Snow from Porous Pavements Vehicle and pedestrian use on porous pavements don’t stop because it’s winter. Roads need to be plowed, parking lots need to be cleared, and walking paths need to be snow and ice-free for safe use. This is true for all surface types: concrete, asphalt, and porous pavements—however, it is a common misconception that snow removal is more challenging with porous pavement systems. Myth Busted: Snow removal on a Porous Pavement System (PPS) is easy! Get the answers below to the frequently asked questions about removing snow from plastic, modular type porous pavers.   Can I Apply Salt to Porous Pavements? Applying salt or ice melt chemicals to gravel-filled PPS surfaces encourages snow and ice to melt, the same as it would on a concrete road. Most porous paver units are made with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), a strong plastic that has a high resistance to environmental factors and is chemically inert. Cold temperatures and freezing and melting snow or ice will not cause damage or deformation to the paver material. Most importantly, HDPE is chemically stable, so it will not react to applied deicers,… Read more »

Porous Pavements Myth Buster: Clogging

Written By: Bill Handlos, P.E. All Porous Pavements Do Not Clog Well-designed porous pavement systems resist clogging While it is important to design porous pavement systems (PPS) to resist the effects of silt, grit, sand and other fine material that can slow or stop infiltration of water – It is a common myth that all porous pavement systems eventually clog. On the contrary, a good PPS system design, simple but effective site design and careful construction inspection and field guidance can all but eliminate the clogging threat. System design do’s and don’ts. Cross-sections will vary according to the porous pavement systems selected, but there are some common concepts that need to be followed for successful, long-lasting percolation.     Never place filter fabric immediately below the porous pavement surface. Whether using pervious concrete, porous asphalt, polyethylene injection molded paving block (such as GEOBLOCK vegetated or GEOPAVE non-vegetated PPS) or concrete paving stone, your cross-section should allow free flow from the paving layer to the base and storage layers. The last thing you want is to trap water in your pavement layer. Surprisingly, at least one aggregate PPS manufacturer sells their product with a filter fabric attached to the bottom of… Read more »

Porous Pavements Myth Buster: Winter Durability

Written By: Bill Handlos, P.E. Properly designed porous pavement systems do not get damaged by the dynamics of freeze-thaw cycles. For decades, civil engineering roadway designers have been trained to use positive drainage, crack sealing, and sealcoating to keep the area under pavement dry. The prevailing mentality was to use well-graded, tightly compacted base under impervious concrete or asphalt wearing surfaces. When water gets between the well-graded base and the impervious surface—frost conditions would lift pavements, weaken base structure, create potholes and in general, wreak havoc with the life of the pavement.    So, it is not surprising that age-old tenets related to moisture, seepage and freeze-thaw cycles get mistakenly applied to porous pavement systems. What makes well-designed porous pavement cross-sections so resistant to the power of freezing and expanding water? The answer is space. Poorly-graded crushed aggregate offers up to 40% void ratio which gives water a place to move, a place to expand into upon freezing, and a network of pathways to drain. High void ratio systems allow the Earth’s natural warmth to move up from below the frost line into and through the open-air system just as water and ice-melt moves down and through the system. If… Read more »

Porous Pavements Myth Buster: Winter Maintenance

Written By: Bill Handlos, P.E. Winter Maintenance for Porous & Pervious Pavements Porous pavement systems are a great way to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff on your site and incorporate Low Impact Development (LID) practices. One of the simplest ways of creating a porous pavement area is to confine unbound aggregate in a rigid paving unit such as the GEOPAVE® Aggregate Porous Paver. The GEOPAVE system is similar to pervious concrete and porous asphalt solutions, but is usually both less expensive and easier to install. Porous Pavements Are Difficult to Maintain in Winter Weather Conditions.   NOT TRUE! The GEOPAVE Aggregate Porous Paver system is easy to maintain, and requires no special equipment. GEOPAVE parking lots or low volume roadways can be maintained in much the same way as a regular concrete or asphalt surface. An unbound aggregate system has many maintenance benefits over other porous pavement systems. Look at the table below and you’ll see how the GEOPAVE system beats pervious concrete and porous asphalt every time.     (Click Chart to Zoom)   The GEOPAVE rigid porous pavement system is comparable to standard paving materials, and a cut above other porous pavement systems. GEOPAVE systems have all of… Read more »