Three years ago, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan city officials discovered cracking in the pavement of the Saskatchewan Crescent roadway at the intersection of 17th Street East, a well-known thoroughfare that follows the South Saskatchewan River through the city. The problem was investigated by engineering firm Golder Associates and suspected the cracks were the first signs of a much bigger issue: the slope below the roadway descending to the riverbank was failing.
Golder Associates engineers hatched out a plan to sustain the slope aiding the road using expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam from Plasti-Fab. Used instead of soil or other lightweight fill materials, Plasti-Fab GeoSpec® lightweight fill material lowers the mass and associated gravitational forces on the sloped embankment.
Plasti-Fab GeoSpec is up to 100 times lighter than in-place soil and it granted project engineers the opportunity to sustain the failing slope next to the road surface, with nominal disturbance to the trees and vegetation along the riverbank.
“We did the analysis and looked at a variety of potential remediation options,” said Laurie McEachern, the project coordinator for Golder Associates. “The benefit of this design choice is that it reduces the loading at the crest of the slope because EPS is a lightweight material.”
“One of the key benefits of using EPS for this particular site was that the remediation plan involved minimizing the amount of trees that had to be removed along the riverbank,” McEachern added.”
Starting in September of 2013, working with GeoSpec permitted construction to advance seamlessly through the winter months. Since GeoSpec is made in large blocks, labor and overall construction time is minimized, allowing the roadway to be finished much quicker and with less traffic issues.
“By specifying GeoSpec lightweight fill material from Plasti-Fab, Golder Associates helped speed up the construction schedule and preserved the trees along the South Saskatchewan riverbank,” said Plasti-Fab Sales Representative Neil Henrikson.”
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