Geofoam Load-Balanced Embankment

Seekonk, MA

Stephens Associates Consulting Engineers (SA) provided geotechnical evaluation and shallow foundation design for smart tool, pipeline inspection gauge launching and receiving structures at several sites. At the Seekonk, MA site, located in a wetland between adjacent developments along a river leading to the Narragansett Bay, 6 to 8 feet of fill embankment was needed, with existing pipelines passing beneath the proposed embankment. SA performed subsurface borings and evaluated geotechnical conditions, which consisted of peat with high groundwater table. We consulted with the Client and Owner on options to mitigate settlement of these soft, compressible soils beneath the proposed embankment, and evaluated settlement of the selected option, a load-balanced embankment constructed of lightweight geofoam, using finite-element analysis. SA designed the geofoam embankment and foundations to support the proposed launching and receiving structures, preparing construction drawings and specifications. We provided geotechnical consultation prior to and during construction, and observed construction of geofoam installation for conformance with design documents.