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Soil Stabilization: When Mother Nature Isn’t on Your Side

Posted on April 13, 2012 in Blog

Last month, the KBS Institute hosted David Stowell and Larry Roberts with Slurry Pavers to educate our team on soil stabilization. The presentation offered insight into alternative earthwork operation when Mother Nature simply doesn’t cooperate.

Our Virginia State Police Driver Training Facility project in Blackstone experienced schedule delays associated with excess rock. The extra time spent blasting and manipulating the rock pushed the rough grading activities into the winter when the native clay soils were too wet to place. Enter Slurry Pavers and their specialized equipment to the rescue. By working with the geotechnical engineer, a site specific plan was assembled to mix Calciment into each lift of soil to allow successive lifts to be placed, compacted and readied to receive additional fills.

With nearly ten miles of roadway scattered over 684 acres and multiple driving courses, we needed a reliable plan to minimize delays and avoid mothballing production until spring.

Below is a typical roadway with above optimum moisture problems prior to treatments.

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The prepared subgrade then receives a surface treatment of Claciment as shown below.

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The Calciment product is hydrated to activate the chemical process responsible for binding the soil.

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Specialized equipment then tills the material into a 12-inch layer to create a consistent mix.

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The end result is a modified soil with enhanced characteristics ready for successful compaction.

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Notice the consistency and properties of the resulting soil versus the original saturated clays from just hours before!

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We’ve applied the expertise of our subcontractor to help mitigate delays on the Driver Training Facility to allow the project to complete in fall 2012. The Virginia State Police are eager to move into their new facility and, as with most projects, time is of the essence. Without thinking outside the box and challenging normal conventions, the winter earthwork production would have jeopardized our delivery schedule.

When Building Relationships, it’s critical we never stop looking for ways to deliver upon our promises and maximize value for our clients. Simply idling back the equipment and waiting for sunnier days was not an option!

Contributed by: Warren Rutledge, KBS Project Engineer