The construction (staged or surcharged) of highway embankments and levees often require instrumentation to monitor the progress of consolidation and to determine whether the embankment is stable. Instrumentation can also be utilized to monitor the effectiveness of vertical drains used to accelerate consolidation in embankment construction. GEOKON piezometers, settlement systems, extensometers and inclinometers are among the most common types of instrument used for embankment monitoring.
Critical stability problems of the BR-101 highway were due to a very soft clay foundation, several meters deep, and a high embankment. In order to cope with stability and settlements, the design was carried out with several layers of geogrid reinforcement and prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) or geodrains. Settlement and stability was monitored by Extensometers, vibrating wire Piezometers, Inclinometers and a Settlement Profiler. A stability design chart was prepared based on total and effective stresses and this enabled the selection of reinforcement tensile strength and choice of single stage or multistage construction. The latter reduces the necessary strength leading to geogrid savings.Vibrating wire Displacement Transducers were installed on the geogrid to monitor strains during construction.
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