WATER DRAINAGE FROM HIGHWAY FILLS

Water has been found to be induced into highway fills in Kansas through cracks, rodent burrows, and bowl or funnel shaped depressions in the median of four lane highways. Dye tracer studies and increased flow from special drains after rains have verified the primary water source as surface water. Groundwater, however, has been found to contribute some water to the supply at one location. One or more poorly consolidated layers of limestone blocks was found in each fill that was studied in detail. These layers of rocks contained much open space between blocks which acts as a reservoir for water moving into the fill. Over a period of several years the water gradually soaks the shale and soil used in the fill embankment resulting in unstable fill conditions especially those with steep slopes. This in turn sometimes results in a fill slide. Special vertical and horizontal drains have been used to drain thousands of gallons of water from these fills thus improving the stability. A small volunteer growth of trees at one location has retarded sliding in spite of a large water buildup suggesting that these long known natural stabilizers should be used more in engineering applications where they do not create any hazard to the driving public.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Study sponsored by the Kansas State Highway Commission and prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Kansas State Highway Commission

    State Office Building
    Topeka, KS  United States  66612
  • Authors:
    • Clark, P C
    • Crumpton, C F
    • Gilliland, W J
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Pagination: 45 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00097451
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: K-I-72-1 Intrm Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: 72-1
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 27 1975 12:00AM