The use of nontraditional stabilizers for construction of airports in Alaska

The cost of constructing unsurfaced gravel airports in rural Alaska can easily reach between $30 and $40 million due to the lack of gravel. The lower Kuskokwim and Yukon River delta soils consist entirely of fine silts and sands. Consequently, any gravel required must be imported at a cost of $300 to $600 per cubic yard ($392 to $785 per cubic meter). In an effort to reduce these costs, the Alaska University Transportation Center, in partnership with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities developed the use of two part chemical stabilizers to stabilize local marginal materials. Several stabilizing products were incorporated in silt and sand in an effort to find the optimal and most cost­ effective stabilizer. These products included geofiber, chemical stabilizers, and curing agents. Laboratory work included California Bearing Ratio and unconfined compressive strength tests on Horseshoe Lake sand, Fairbanks silt, and other standard sands. Test results revealed that sand-geofiber mixtures should contain an optimum amount of fines (siIt) to mobilize the mix strength effectively. It was also found that the inclusion of an optimum geofiber content in Fairbanks silt (0.2% geofiber by weight) and in Horseshoe Lake sand (0.5% geofiber by weight) maximizes their hearing capacity. Using chemical stabilizers in conjunction with curing additives, hearing capacity was also enhanced as evidenced by unconfined compressive strengths of 1,100 psi (7.6 MPa) achieved for the sands and 600 psi (4.1 MPa) for the silts. This research showed that strength and hearing capacity enhancement of Alaskan marginal soils at airfield construction sites is feasible and cost-effective through the use of nontraditional stabilizers. Future research will evaluate the durability and freeze-thaw susceptibility of these optimized soil-stabilizer mixes.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp 919-928
  • Monograph Title: Bearing capacity of roads, railways and airfields: proceedings of the ninth International Conference on the Bearing Capacity of Roads, Railways and Airfields: Trondheim, Norway 25-27 June 2013. Vol 1-2

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596588
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 9788232102853
  • Files: ITRD, VTI
  • Created Date: Apr 21 2016 12:35PM