Prediction and Rehabilitation of Highway Embankment Slope Failures in Changing Climate

The resilience of transportation infrastructure, such as highway embankments, is critical to avoiding commuter delays and costly repairs. The majority of earth embankments across the United States, specifically in Region 6, are in marginal condition. The proposed research will advance the understanding of shear strength reduction of fine-grained soils due to environmental conditions. In particular, knowledge regarding the time-dependent progression from peak to fully softened strength is lacking. Therefore, the intellectual merit of this research is to quantify the contribution of each environmental factor (climate, partially saturated flow, etc.) on the shear strength of compacted embankments with time. The broader impact will be reduced cost of maintenance by preventing failures and develop more robust remedial techniques. This research will be accomplished through comprehensive inverse analyses of embankment failures in conjunction with laboratory shear strength and hydraulic testing of Louisiana and Texas soils. The outcome of this research will be twofold: (1) a methodology to predict locations of high failure probability areas, and (2) cost-effective rehabilitation techniques for Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) districts. The first outcome will permit DOTD to identify critical areas that will need maintenance prior to a failure occurring. This outcome will also result in a Louisiana and Texas validated correlation for fully softened shear strengths that can be used for the design of highway embankments. The review of past failures and continuous field monitoring will be used to develop guidelines for rehabilitating failed slopes so that the likelihood for subsequent slides is significantly reduced.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $182133
    • Contract Numbers:

      17GTLSU04

    • 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:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Transportation Consortium of South-Central States

      Louisiana State University
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
    • Project Managers:

      Hassan, Marwa

      Puppala, Anand

    • Performing Organizations:

      Louisiana State University and A&M College

      202 Himes Hall
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803

      University of Texas, Arlington

      P.O. Box 4089
      Arlington, TX  United States  76010

      Louisiana Transportation Research Center

      4101 Gourrier Avenue
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70808
    • Principal Investigators:

      Jafari, Navid H.

      Puppala, Anand

    • Start Date: 20170508
    • Expected Completion Date: 20181108
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01635020
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States
    • Contract Numbers: 17GTLSU04
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: May 13 2017 10:45PM