AuthorRichard Short, P.E.

DateOct 01 2012

Stability Challenges
Civil Engineers responsible for maintaining new and existing embankments face the challenge of keeping slopes stable. Geopier® ground improvement solutions have been used for decades to address global stability for new embankments and MSE walls. However, many existing slopes are also unstable with shallow slides occurring to depths of 3 to 10 feet below the slope face. Historically, these failures were addressed by excavating the sliding mass and replacing the soil after flattening of the slope. This is expensive and time consuming. The Geopier SRT™ system is fast gaining popularity by providing a more adaptable and cost-effective solution to stabilize existing slopes.

The Geopier SRT method, developed in 2003, has proved its versatility on a wide variety of slope conditions that have been analyzed and successfully repaired. The system is comprised of vertical steel reinforcing elements, Plate Piles™, which are rapidly driven into the ground through the unstable soil into an underlying competent layer. Working with Geopier SRT Engineers, UC Berkeley Researchers showed that Plate Piles could increase the factor of safety of a slope by 30 to 50 percent. The system works because portions of the failing slope are each supported by a single structural element. Significant cost and time savings are achieved by eliminating the need for substantial earthwork operations to remove the original slide mass.

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