Evaluation of Alternative Embankment Construction Methods

Arctic and sub-arctic regions of Alaska offer some of the more remote, unpopulated and inhospitable terrains on Earth. Poor foundation conditions at rural construction sites routinely consist entirely of ice-rich permafrost. Candidate fill materials found at remote project sites are often very high in moisture, and /or frozen, and/or too fine to be of practical use anyway. When acceptable foundation conditions and fill materials are not available, alternative materials and /or methods are needed. Construction infrastructure is virtually nonexistent in some areas where suitable construction materials normally must be shipped by barge or flown to a project site. This is a very expensive proposition indeed. For example, replacement fill shipped from a remote location to a construction project in western Alaska can cost 10 to 12 times more than if suitable local material were available. The goal of this research is to examine innovative materials and methods, economically applicable to sub-arctic and arctic sites, that will help produce more high quality construction results for a given level of funding. Alternatives discussed in this report include: foundation pre-thawing, thermosyphons, air-cooled embankments, geobags/geotubes, membrane encapsulated soil layers, chemical stabilization, geogrids, EPS block, foamed concrete, shredded tires/tire bales, and wood chips/sawdust.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 30p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146335
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-AK-RD-08-02
  • Created Date: Nov 25 2009 3:28PM