Posts Categorized: GEOWEB Geocells for Unpaved Roads & Pavement Reinforcement

Advancing the Mining Industry’s Transition to Sustainable Practices with Geosynthetics

Written by: Michael Dickey, P.E. (WI, FL, GA, NC) Mined materials are essential to our everyday lives. We use these valuable minerals in nearly every sector of the economy—they are necessary to construct roads and buildings, manufacture vehicles, build computers, and generate electricity. Additionally, the mining industry stimulates economic growth by providing employment opportunities and generating tax revenue that helps fund vital public services, such as hospitals and schools. As the mining industry navigates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, there is a sense of urgency to adopt sustainable or “green” mining practices. Green mining can be defined as technologies, best practices, and mine processes that are implemented to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction and processing of metals and minerals. The Mining Industry Faces Unique Challenges When it comes to sustainable development, operation, and closure of mines, the industry faces myriad challenges—not the least of which are poor soil conditions, weak subgrades, and other geotechnical challenges that can complicate miners’ efforts to meet ESG goals. In this regard, some of the more common geotechnical challenges that mine operators must contend with include: Constructing and maintaining heavy-duty haul roads. Stabilizing and protecting slopes. Tailings management and site reclamation…. Read more »

Building Energy Roads in Harsh Conditions With the GEOWEB System

Energy sites are often located in remote and difficult to access sites in environments with poor soils, limited road-building resources, and extreme weather conditions. Site Challenges in Western Canada In Western Canada’s Oil Sands region, transporting construction equipment, drilling rigs, and completions apparatus – all with heavy wheel loads (typical loads exceeding 125,000 lbs) is the challenge. It can be extremely difficult to accomplish this over the soft, wet ground (thick muskeg and saturated clays) typical of this region. Add the challenge of working in the dead of winter in below-zero temperatures and on frozen ground, with limited road building materials, and the scenario makes accessing the sites extremely difficult. In the wettest months, muddy conditions can make access by heavy trucks and equipment nearly impossible. So, energy companies typically wait for the ground to freeze before ramping back up construction.  Even in winter, access to remote oil sites creates challenges including undeveloped roads, soft ground, and scarce materials suitable for constructing roads. A Road Solution Built for Extreme Conditions The GEOWEB® 3D soil confinement system is built for these challenges.  The all-weather HDPE material is fast to install and isn’t hindered by soft ground or extreme temperatures. GEOWEB® 3D… Read more »

Innovative Solutions for Designing & Constructing Transmission Line Roads & Substations

Energy Site

When natural disasters, power surges, accidents, or general equipment failures threaten the reliability of the power grid, maintenance crews must be able to quickly and safely access transmission lines and substations to make repairs. Designing resilient energy infrastructure that ensures power companies have a reliable, regular supply of energy and contingency measures in place in the event of a power failure is crucial to their business and the communities they serve. Build Sustainable Roads for Utility Transmission & Substation Access Accessing sites in remote or undeveloped areas can present several challenges for the energy industry when it comes to building, operating, and maintaining power transmission lines and substations. Soft soils and low-water crossings can make it difficult for utility vehicles to safely and effectively reach sites for routine maintenance and emergency repairs. The GEOWEB® 3D Soil Stabilization System is ideal for shallow ground improvement applications and can easily be incorporated into unpaved access roads for transmission lines and substations. The GEOWEB geocells, made from an all-weather high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material, are durable, chemical resistant, and outperform standard two-dimensional geosynthetics through lateral confinement of infill materials, facilitating what is known as the “mattress effect” for distributing loads across weak subgrades. The… Read more »

Designing Sustainable Ports & Yards with 3D Geocells

Stabilization for Higher-Performing Pavements Ports and intermodal yards in coastal areas are more prone to pavement problems due to inherent soft, unsupportive soils and high water levels. Heavy traffic patterns and the constant weight of loaded parked trailers and stacked containers at these facilities can accelerate the degradation of the paved or unpaved surfaces and subbase materials. The repeated pressure over poor soil conditions results in settlement, ruts, potholes, and even pavement failure. These surface problems require continual, costly maintenance and interruptions to facility operations. But the problem isn’t at the surface—it’s a base stabilization problem. Transforming Base Materials through 3D Confinement Creating and ensuring a stable surface supportive of the long-term, heavy traffic needs starts with better stabilization of the base materials. The GEOWEB® 3D Confinement System is built for this function. The system’s deep, cellular network controls both the horizontal and vertical movement of unstable base soils. When vertical loads are applied, active earth pressures in the loaded GEOWEB® cells push against passive earth pressures in adjacent cells to form a stable system. The benefits of confining fill are applied to both base reinforcement and unpaved surface applications. Permeable Unpaved Pavements Utilizing the GEOWEB® 3D system at the… Read more »

Great American Outdoors Act Provides Billions of Dollars for Overdue Repairs and Maintenance of U.S. National Parks

Congress recently passed the most significant piece of land conservation legislation in a generation. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA)—a rare bipartisan effort—will provide full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million annually and will put $9.5 billion over the next five years toward the deferred maintenance backlog on public lands. The GAOA provides $6.5 billion specifically for the 419 national park units. President Trump signed the bill into law on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Increased Use and Lack of Funding Caused Maintenance Backlog This piece of legislation will have a historical impact on National Parks in the United States. The number of visitors to national parks has increased by 50% since 1980, but budgets have remained virtually flat. This imbalance has contributed to a $12 billion backlog of repairs to access roads, trails, campgrounds, monuments, and other parks infrastructure. Parks and recreational trails have recently become even more popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With limited indoor entertainment options, people have rediscovered their love for the outdoors. As this trend continues, our national parks must be equipped with the infrastructure necessary to sustain them in the long term. The Importance of Green Infrastructure & Low… Read more »

Build a Stronger Foundation for Infrastructure Projects with 3D Soil Confinement

It’s no secret that America’s infrastructure is desperately in need of investment. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the country’s infrastructure an overall grade of D-plus in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card—dangerously close to an outright failing grade. The ASCE estimates that the U.S. will need to spend nearly $4.5 trillion by 2025 to fix the country’s roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure. Our nation’s roads and bridges—commonly referred to as the “backbone” of the U.S. transportation system—received grades of D and C-plus, respectively. These transportation systems are deteriorating due to advancing age, increasing use, and inadequate funding. This degradation leads to a significant cost to users in terms of time, money, and safety. There are over 4 million miles of road in the United States, and the cost to maintain these roadways can vary greatly by state. Several factors determine maintenance costs, including the type of pavement surface, its current condition, its geographical location, average precipitation, number of annual freeze/thaw cycles, and frequency of use. Three-Dimensional Geocells Provide Solutions to Aging Infrastructure The long-term performance of infrastructure construction projects depends on the strength of the underlying soil. Through an interconnected honeycomb-like network, 3D geocells confine and stabilize… Read more »

Why Geocells Outperform Geogrids for Road Construction

Written By: Bill Handlos, PE, Director of Presto Geosystems Geocells (cellular confinement) offer a more effective and practical 3D design solution to load support challenges than multilayered 2D geogrid efforts. Geocells transfer applied loads instantaneously, delivering practical soil stabilization in a product that is fast and easy to install.        How do geogrids work? Geogrids rely on rutting, displacement and lateral movement of the road material to activate the load support reaction of the product. As shown below, failure of the driving surface must occur before the geogrid reacts. As a result, rutting and soil displacement is a prerequisite reality to the system. Since the geogrid is two-dimensional, material not located directly within the plane occupied by the geogrid is free to move, shift and displace. It is essential that geogrids are placed in a flat or a pre-tensioned manner—but that is not practical in a construction environment. It is common to see geogrids unrolled over a prepared grade with an undulating surface. As aggregate is placed over the top of the geogrid, the material kinks and waves, further warping the 2D plane. The geogrid is rarely pulled tight during installation which does not allow full tension under… Read more »