Multifunctional Geosynthetic-based Stabilization to Increase Coastal Infrastructure Resilience

Coastal communities of Texas and Louisiana primarily rely on road infrastructure for their transportation and access to goods and services. Due to surges in extreme rainfall and storm events because of accelerated climate change, coastal infrastructure is at pressing risk. Aggressive infiltration of water in pavement due to frequent flooding reduces its functional and structural performance gradually. Geosynthetics have been extensively used in pavement structures to enhance their bearing capacity and stiffness. However, most of the commonly used geosynthetics do not help with the subsurface drainage under pavements. Recently, a novel geotextile with special hydrophilic and hygroscopic wicking fibers has gained popularity due to its multiple functions, including separation, reinforcement, gravity drainage, and capillary drainage through wicking action. Because of its versatility, it can potentially serve as a unified drainage and reinforcing element within the pavement structure. This project aims to assess wicking geotextile as a resilient and sustainable adoption in coastal pavement infrastructure vulnerable to climate change impacts. The objectives of this research study are: (1) to understand the efficacy of wicking geotextile reinforcement in pavement infrastructure under extreme climate conditions; (2) to compare the overall performance of wicking geotextile with conventional geotextile reinforcement in coastal pavements. To address these objectives, the existing literature on novel geosynthetics and their characterization will be reviewed and summarized. Moisture movements within a soil layer with wicking geotextiles and conventional geotextiles will be studied. Moisture probes or tensiometers will be installed in the large direct shear box, and moisture variation in compacted soil will be recorded for up to seven days. About 20 large-scale direct shear tests will be performed on soil with wicking geotextile and conventional geotextile to determine interface friction angle and cohesion. Tests will be performed under different normal loads after three and seven days of drainage. A fully coupled finite element model of coastal pavement infrastructure reinforced with both geotextiles (wicking and conventional) under different environmental stressors will be developed. Laboratory results will be used to develop a model in PLAXIS, and the performance of wicking geotextile in pavements will be assessed under extreme rainfall and flooding events. This research will lead to a better understanding of working with wicking geotextiles in coastal environments where flooding is a major concern. It will highlight the benefits of wicking geotextiles over conventional geotextiles in terms of drainage and interface properties. The results of this proposed study will provide a framework for implementing wicking geotextiles in coastal infrastructure for increased resiliency and enhanced safety. Additionally, it will help reduce maintenance and restoration costs of coastal pavement infrastructure often impacted by flooding events.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $ 89,712
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Southern Plains Transportation Center

    University of Oklahoma
    201 Stephenson Pkwy, Suite 4200
    Norman, OK  United States  73019
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Denise

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Bhaskar, Puneet

  • Start Date: 20230901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01895986
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southern Plains Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348306, CY1-TTI-02
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 14 2023 7:26AM