Design, Construction, and Performance of a Highway Embankment Failure Repaired with Tire-Derived Aggregate

In July 2006, a large embankment failure occurred during construction of a four-lane divided highway leading to the Canada–U.S. border crossing in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. The highway embankment was approximately 12.3 m in height, just short of the design height of 14 m, when it failed. The cause of the failure was attributed to the rapid rate of construction and the intensity of loading on low-strength foundation soils, consisting of up to 15 m of soft marine clay. The reconstruction effort used 1.4 million scrap tires to create the tire-derived aggregate (TDA) as lightweight fill. TDA was placed within the new embankment, constructed over the site of the original failure. An important element to the design was the installation of geotechnical instrumentation, which allowed an observational approach to be taken during the construction process. This approach resulted in modifications to the original design throughout the process of reconstructing the TDA embankment. This paper presents the results of the TDA embankment and foundation performance over 25 months, with an emphasis on the design and behavior of the TDA during construction. The predicted values versus the values measured in the field for geotechnical parameters and the performance characteristics of TDA are presented, including unit weight, temperature, immediate compression, and time-dependent compression. The values for these measured parameters are compared with those from similar case histories and published values available from the literature. The TDA embankment reconstruction project began in the summer of 2007 and was successfully completed in the late fall of 2008.


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  • Accession Number: 01151091
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160391
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3727
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:54AM