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Geocell-Reinforced Pavement Structure State Of Practice in Canada


Geocell reinforcement at the base and subbase courses of the pavement structures is one of the latest development in the field of geosynthetics soil reinforcement. Geocells are honey-combed shaped 3-dimensional material usually made from polymeric alloys and HDPE. Geocells improve the modulus and strength of the reinforced composite and durability of the road structure providing lateral confinement, wider load distribution and also through semi-rigid slab or beam effect.  Novel Polymeric Alloy (NPA) is the latest technology used to manufacture geocells which provide superior tensile strength, higher modulus and creep resistance compared to other types of geocells. Geocells can be used in both paved and unpaved roads contributing to the sustainability project by reducing the overall thickness of the pavement structure and decreasing the amount of virgin aggregate required. This in turn decrease the environmental foot print of the project and reduce the overall construction cost of the projects. Over the past decade a number of roads (paved and unpaved) have been constructed in Canada using the NPA geocell technology. This paper discusses the current state of the practice in designing pavements structure with geocells. Also, this paper will discuss a few projects in detail and provides insight into the challenges faced during construction, long-term performance of the geocell-reinforced pavement structure and contribution of the geocell in each project to reduce environmental footprint and construction cost of the projects.  In summary geocells have enabled the pavement designer and contractors to save 10-40% of the construction cost and lower the CO2 emission associated with the construction activities 25-60% on different projects.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovations in Geotechnical and Materials Engineering (S)
Norouzi, M., Pokharel, S., Breault, M.