The Application of a Novel Design Approach for Construction over Soft Soils: The Hybrid Drained-Undrained Model
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The number of case histories of construction of high mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) berms over soft foundations, such as dredge disposal sites, is limited for obvious reasons: it is difficult to build without risking foundation instability.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the challenges of designing and building embankments over extremely soft foundations using innovative design and construction techniques. The case history site for this paper is located in Wilmington, Delaware, where a 2400-m long, 21-m high MSE berm was completed in July 2010. The completion of this 1.5-million-cubic-meter berm represents a significant engineering achievement considering the size of the embankment and the 30-m deep layer of very soft soils (undrained shear strength as low as 10 kPa) over which the berm was constructed. The project was recently selected by the American Society of Civil Engineering among the five finalists for the 2012 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: David Espinoza, Chunling Li
  • Title: The Application of a Novel Design Approach for Construction over Soft Soils: The Hybrid Drained-Undrained Model
  • Event or Publication: 18th Conference of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering
  • Practice Areas: Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Date: 2013
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Type: Publication (Printed)