Posts Tagged: GEOWEB

Are material shortages delaying your road construction projects? Here is how to stay on schedule and within budget.

Written by: Bryan Wedin, P.E., Chief Design Engineer Road construction is booming, and this trend is expected to remain strong due to high demand and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which includes investments across many sectors, including public infrastructure. Along with this boom, the road construction industry has been dealing with inflation-related cost increases and limited availability of construction materials. The industry has been impacted by supply-chain interruptions and shortages for many roadway materials including lime, cement, and even aggregate. These materials are typically used for roadway base construction, which means road construction projects that use these materials may be subject to delays. Due to these shortages and delays, on-site material or sand-filled GEOWEB® geocells can provide a cost-effective, readily available substitute for base materials–especially where native subgrade conditions consist of weak or soft soils. GEOWEB® Geocells for Roadway Base Stabilization The GEOWEB geocells have been used for load support and foundation applications worldwide for more than 40 years. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the late 1970s, Presto co-invented the technology now known as geocells or a cellular confinement system (CCS). The early applications of geocells consisted primarily of stabilized, expedient… Read more »

How Geosynthetics Are Uniquely Poised to Help Alleviate Congestion at U.S. Ports

Written by: Michael J. Dickey, PE, Director and Bryan Wedin, PE, Chief Design Engineer On May 6, 2022, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) released an amended Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), allocating over $234 million for port infrastructure development in 2022. Adding to the previously appropriated amount of $450 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), this will bring the total amount available for port improvement projects to $684 million for FY2022. The significance of this investment comes at a crucial time. According to the American Association of Port Authorities, the pandemic has laid bare the need for a transport system that is able to surge and stretch across all links—from sea, to land, to rail, to warehouse, to consumer. The question is, how can this funding be used to meet this need quickly and cost-effectively? The answer may lie in a strategy implemented in 2021 in the state of Georgia to alleviate congestion at the Port of Savannah. The Georgia Port Authority, in partnership with Norfolk Southern, implemented a solution that has caught the attention of other U.S. port authorities and Class I railroads using what is being referred to as “pop-up container yards”…. Read more »

Dam Structure Safety Installation and Repair Using Advanced Geosynthetic Technology

Written By: Samantha Justice, P.E. Dams and Spillways Are a Critical Part of U.S. Infrastructure With estimates of 84,000 structures nationwide, dams and spillways are essential for controlling flooding, water distribution and management, and providing hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, these structures cannot last forever. The average age of dams and spillways in the US is 57 years, seven years over the typical 50-year lifespan of these structures. Aging infrastructure can lead to serious consequences if safety precautions are not taken, or measures are not implemented to address identified problems in a timely manner. The most important measure that any dam manager can apply is continual inspection and upkeep. The US Army Corps of Engineers Infrastructure Report Card rating for 2021 was a C-, and the health of dam structures was a significant part of that low rating. State and federal regulations provide a framework for the assessment and maintenance of dam and spillway structures-at a minimum yearly audit inspections that identify areas that need repair or replacement are required. Performing these repairs can help extend the lifetime of dams to help keep essential services in place without excessive cost or increased failure potential. Understanding Areas of Concern for Existing Structures The… Read more »

Protecting Environmental Geomembrane Covers With Suspended GEOWEB Geocells

Economic pressure, the desire for green solutions, and the intensification of climate extremes have converged to create a need for better methods to effect soil stabilization. Fortunately, a proven technology exists that addresses issues associated with these conditions and provides a more stable cover solution for landfill covers, lagoons, stormwater containment basins, and other geomembrane-covered systems. Soil, aggregate, and concrete protective covers over geomembranes can be secured against known gravitational, hydrodynamic, and seismic forces using the GEOWEB® Soil Confinement System. Soil and aggregate are commonly used as a protective cover over liners on slopes of 3H:1V or less. However, when slope gradients are greater, unconfined soil and aggregate covers are typically unstable and not used. In arid areas, cover depth may range from 75 mm (3 in) to 150 mm (6 in). Where conditions support vegetation, cover depth may range from 100 (4) to 600 mm (24 in) or greater where the final depth is a function of the characteristics of the desired vegetation. Regardless of cover depth, if an extreme rainfall event occurs that is 10%, or greater than what would typically be expected, soil mass increases, assumed friction angles decrease, and factors of safety for soil stability drop to… Read more »

The History of Geocells

Geocell technology has come a long way over the past four decades. In its early days of development, the geocellular soil confinement system consisted of wax-coated craft paper; a plastic drainage pipe matrix fastened with staples; paper-thin, hexagon-shaped, glued aluminum; low- and medium-density recycled materials; pure polyethylene without UV stabilization; and square cells similar to old-fashioned egg carton separators. The Invention of Modern Geocell Technology In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contacted Presto Products Company—a private-label consumer packaging manufacturer—to develop a more robust honeycomb-shaped confinement system that would maintain load-bearing strength under heavy vehicle loads. Working with Steve Webster at the Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Presto’s Gary Bach devised a method to weld polyethylene strips to form a cellular structure. This innovative system became known as Sandgrid and was used by the military primarily for road applications. After the development of Sandgrid, Presto Products created a new business unit to focus solely on the geosynthetics business. With this expansion, Presto Geosystems® was established. Presto Geosystems and the USACE tested various resin blends and concluded that virgin high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provided superior weld consistency and structural strength. Presto Geosystems introduced the GEOWEB® Cellular Confinement System (CCS)… 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 and Building Sustainable Multi-Use Trails Using 3D Soil Confinement

GEOWEB Recreational Trail

Trails and greenways play a vital role in communities by preserving and creating open spaces for low or no-cost outdoor recreation. They encourage people to get outside and safely explore environmentally sensitive areas that would otherwise be difficult or dangerous to access. Trails also function as a safe transportation corridor for those who commute by foot or bicycle. When talking about recreational trails, it’s also important to acknowledge the economic impact they have on communities. Many recreational trails across the country are revenue-generating tourist destinations that positively impact local economies. Fundamentals of Good Recreational Trail Design There are three key considerations to good trail design: reinforcement, drainage, and confinement of surface materials. These are critical components required to withstand repeated traffic loading, resist degradation from erosion, and minimize environmental impact. Finding economical and low-maintenance solutions to stabilize trails and greenways can be difficult. It is even more challenging in poor soil environments or environmentally sensitive areas where minimal disturbance is allowed, or where paving or filling within an existing floodplain or coastal area is limited by local, state, or federal regulations. Presto Geosystems’ soil stabilization solutions overcome these challenges by providing low environmental impact options that offer long-term stability for… 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 »

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 »

Railroad ballast performance improvement using GEOWEB® Geocells

Each year railroads must allocate a significant portion of their capital and maintenance budget toward the creation and upkeep of high-quality ballast layers. Enduring, well-designed ballast is quite literally the foundation on which a successful rail line operates. With ballooning rail traffic carrying heavier loads than ever, GEOWEB cellular confinement (geocell) effectively takes the pressure off critical ballast systems. Oregon State University (OSU) recently performed state-of-the-art, three-dimensional dynamic Finite Element modeling to analyze the reinforcing benefit of GEOWEB geocells in railway applications. Completed in cooperation with the University of Kansas (KU), who simultaneously performed a testing program of Geocell-reinforced ballast placed over weak subgrade. The digital modeling results were reinforced by the laboratory tests and showed a significant decrease in settlement of the railway ballast when GEOWEB confinement was used. Using the GEOWEB system not only decreased settlement but also reduced pressure on point-to-point aggregate load transfer contact. This resulted in less damage to ballast aggregate particles leading to less progressive deformation and longer maintenance frequencies of the entire ballast embankment. In short, more cycles mean less track down-time for maintenance. The research results were clear. The benefits of applying GEOWEB Geocell confinement for reinforcement of real ballast over weak… Read more »