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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 529 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Guideline and Recommended Standard for Geofoam Applications in Highway Embankments

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2004 (Membership as of July 2004) OFFICERS Chair: Michael S. Townes, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA Vice Chair: Joseph H. Boardman, Commissioner, New York State DOT Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT SARAH C. CAMPBELL, President, TransManagement, Inc., Washington, DC E. DEAN CARLSON, Director, Carlson Associates, Topeka, KS JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center and Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL GLORIA J. JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley RONALD F. KIRBY, Director of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT SUE MCNEIL, Director, Urban Transportation Center and Professor, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and Department of Civil and Material Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago MICHAEL D. MEYER, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT JOHN E. NJORD, Executive Director, Utah DOT DAVID PLAVIN, President, Airports Council International, Washington, DC JOHN H. REBENSDORF, Vice President, Network Planning and Operations, Union Pacific Railroad Co., Omaha, NE PHILIP A. SHUCET, Commissioner, Virginia DOT C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando, FL MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) SAMUEL G. BONASSO, Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA (ex officio) GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex officio) THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (ex officio) JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (ex officio) JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ex officio) RICK KOWALEWSKI, Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association (ex officio) BETTY MONRO, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ex officio) JEFFREY W. RUNGE, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM G. SCHUBERT, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT (ex officio) CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ex officio) ROBERT A. VENEZIA, Program Manager of Public Health Applications, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ex officio) NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA JOHN C. HORSLEY, American Association of State Highway (Chair) and Transportation Officials JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, New York State DOT MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administration GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, University of Southern California, ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board Los Angeles C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 529 Guideline and Recommended Standard for Geofoam Applications in Highway Embankments TIMOTHY D. STARK DAVID ARELLANO Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL JOHN S. HORVATH Department of Civil Engineering Manhattan College Riverdale, NY DOV LESHCHINSKY ADAMA Engineering, Inc. Newark, DE S UBJECT A REAS Highway and Facility Design Pavement Design, Management, and Performance Bridges, Other Structures, and Hydraulics and Hydrology Soils, Geology, and Foundations Materials and Construction Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2004 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH NCHRP REPORT 529 PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 24-11 FY'98 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISSN 0077-5614 interest and can best be studied by highway departments ISBN 0-309-08804-6 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and Library of Congress Control Number 2004111238 others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to 2004 Transportation Research Board highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Price $20.00 In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States NOTICE Department of Transportation. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the was requested by the Association to administer the research approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee National Research Council. structure from which authorities on any highway transportation The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due cooperation with federal, state and local governmental agencies, consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation a position to use them. Officials, or the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. The program is developed on the basis of research needs Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed Council. to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. Published reports of the The needs for highway research are many, and the National NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of are available from: mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or Transportation Research Board duplicate other highway research programs. Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: Note: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 529 ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, NCHRP Manager TIMOTHY G. HESS, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications ELLEN CHAFEE, Assistant Editor BETH HATCH, Assistant Editor NCHRP PROJECT 24-11 PANEL Field of Soils and Geology--Area of Mechanics and Foundations DAVID V. JENKINS, Washington State DOT (Chair) MICHAEL MATHIOUDAKIS, New York State DOT RICHARD BERG, Frost Associates, West Lebanon, NH MANOJ B. CHOPRA, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL COLIN A. FRANCO, Rhode Island DOT SUSAN HERRENBRUCK, Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association, Woodbridge, VA THOMAS W. KENNEDY, University of Texas at Austin THOMAS E. POLACEK, Pennsylvania DOT JAMES E. SHANNON, Huntsman Corporation, Chesapeake, VA RIYAD M. WAHAB, Illinois DOT JERRY A. DiMAGGIO, FHWA Liaison Representative G. P. JAYAPRAKASH, TRB Liaison Representative AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The principal investigators for this project are Dr. Timothy D. Stark report preparation (Newman, Garza, and Frank). The typing and and Mr. David Arellano, Professor and Graduate Research Assistant, editing were performed by Ms. Martha Thompson and are also respectively, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering gratefully acknowledged. (CEE), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC); Dr. John The authors note with gratitude the assistance of several state S. Horvath, Consulting Engineer and Professor, Department of Civil departments of transportation, the EPS Molders Association, and Engineering, Manhattan College; and Dr. Dov Leshchinsky, President others in the private sector in providing cost and other relevant of ADAMA Engineering, Inc., and Professor, University of Delaware. information. The authors appreciate the particularly useful techni- Dr. Horvath was the lead investigator for Phase I of this project cal assistance of Mr. Paul E. Arch of NOVA Chemicals, Inc., for and the primary author of the interim project report. Mr. Arellano providing information relative to EPS manufacturing and Mr. Don- also had significant input to Phase I and the interim report. Dr. Stark ald D. Oglesby of Hanson Professional Services, Inc., for providing was the lead investigator for Phase II, and Mr. Arellano had signif- information relative to design. Wisconsin EPS, Inc., of Fond du icant input to Phase II. Lac, Wisconsin, contributed EPS block samples, and Seaman Cor- Other research assistants in the CEE contributing to the project poration of Cornelius, North Carolina, contributed geomembrane and report include Mr. Erik J. Newman, Mr. Andy Garza, Mr. Perry samples for the interface shear strength testing. Both companies' L. Stover, and Mr. Timothy Frank. These research assistants contributions are greatly appreciated. Finally, all of the individuals assisted with the external and internal stability analyses (Newman who responded to the geofoam usage survey conducted for this and Stover), laboratory testing (Newman and Frank), and figure and project are also gratefully acknowledged.

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This report provides a design guideline and recommended standard for geofoam FOREWORD applications in the design and construction of highway embankments. The guideline By Timothy G. Hess and standard will assist highway agencies in designing and constructing highway Staff Officer embankments using expandable polystyrene (EPS) blocks. The report will be of imme- Transportation Research diate interest to engineers in the public and private sectors involved in the design, con- Board struction, and material specification of lightweight embankments constructed on soft foundation soils. Geofoam, a term referring to expanded polystyrene (EPS) blocks when used in embankment construction, is a super-lightweight soil substitute material. The first widespread application of geofoam technology in highway construction was for insu- lation and pavement frost damage mitigation, but geofoam is now used in a broad vari- ety of transportation-related applications. The use of geofoam in embankment con- struction avoids the problem of excessive settlements and affords benefits, including reduction of overburden pressure, reduction in the magnitude of ultimate settlement, and savings in construction time. Differential settlements between the approach fill and bridge abutments can also be reduced. Lateral pressure from approach fills onto abut- ments and wing walls can be lessened significantly with geofoam fill. Long-term main- tenance requirements can be minimized, and ride quality of roads crossing swamps or bog areas can also be improved by the use of geofoam as fill. These applications call for the detailed analysis of the behavior of the geofoam under stresses that will develop during long-term use. Such analyses require knowledge of the material properties of the geofoam under service loads as well as models to predict geofoam behavior and embankment performance. There is a need for research to determine the behavior of geofoam under service loads in addition to the long-term performance of geofoam when used in embankment construction. This research will allow the development of a design guideline and material and construction standard for geofoam applications in the design and construction of highway embankments. Under NCHRP Project 24-11, "Guidelines for Geofoam Applications in Embank- ment Projects," the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a design guideline and recommended material and construction standard for the use of geofoam as a super-lightweight fill in embankments and bridge approaches over soft ground. To develop the guideline and standard, it was necessary for the research team to first inves- tigate the geotechnically relevant properties of block-molded EPS such as modulus, compressive strength, Poisson's ratio, and interface shear resistance. It then developed a design methodology for geofoam embankments consisting of three differ- ent components: (1) pavement system design, (2) external stability evaluation, and (3) internal stability evaluation. Design charts and design examples were developed. Geofoam construction practices were investigated, and cost information was developed to assist designers in selecting an optimum design.

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NCHRP Report 529 consists of two parts, a design guideline and a material and construction standard for EPS-block geofoam. The project final report and four unpub- lished appendixes are not included in this report, but are available as NCHRP Web Doc- ument 65 and can be found at http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp w65.pdf. The guideline and recommended standard making up this report will significantly enhance the capabilities of highway agencies and their consultants in designing, speci- fying, and constructing EPS-block geofoam embankments.

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CONTENTS Recommended Design Guideline 1 Introduction, 1 2 Design Guideline, 2 3 Pavement System Design Procedure, 7 4 External (Global) Stability Evaluation, 12 5 Internal Stability Evaluation, 35 6 Abutment Design, 48 7 Conversion Factors, 50 8 References, 51 Recommended EPS-Block Geofoam Standard for Lightweight Fill in Road Embankments and Bridge Approach Fills on Soft Ground 1 Scope, 1 2 Referenced Documents, 1 3 Terminology, 1 4 Product Manufacturing Quality Control Requirements, 1 5 Product Manufacturing Quality Assurance: General Requirements, 2 6 Product Manufacturing Quality Assurance: Phase I, 3 7 Product Shipment and Storage, 5 8 Product Manufacturing Quality Assurance: Phase II, 5 9 Construction Quality Requirements, 6 10 Site Preparation, 6 11 Placement of EPS-Block Geofoam, 7 12 Pavement Construction, 7 Unpublished Material