TxDOT Paris US 75

Project Background

TxDOT Paris District initiated a project to address needed improvements for the US 75 corridor. The project includes adding new lanes, reconstructing bridges and pavement, and constructing new bridges, retaining walls, and culverts along the alignment from SH 91 to Loy Lake Rd in Grayson County, Texas. HVJ directly worked with TxDOT to provide geotechnical engineering services for this project. We performed a geotechnical field exploration consisting of more than 160 borings, geotechnical laboratory testing, and engineering recommendations for the project's bridges, retaining walls, culverts, pavement, and embankments.  

Practice: Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Materials Testing

Sector: Transportation/Roads

Location: Grayson County, Texas 

Services: Geotechnical Field Exploration, Laboratory Testing, PS&E Design Recommendations  


The Problem

Our PS&E design team encountered a challenge regarding retaining one of the existing culverts. The maximum fill height limit for this culvert was determined to be 31 feet. However, according to the PS&E plans, the new fill height at this specific culvert location was projected to be approximately 33 feet. This exceeded the acceptable fill height for the existing culvert, prompting the designer to seek innovative solutions from HVJ.  

The Goal

Our goal was to provide an innovative solution to retaining the existing culvert, which was in good condition. Retaining the existing culvert would minimize construction costs for TxDOT,  expedite the construction process, and allow the PS&E design to remain on schedule. HVJ's design team has an in-depth understanding of the construction of embankments. We looked to our expertise in changes in stresses and strain within embankments due to new fill placements to determine a workable solution for the culvert. 

Our Solution

Our team conducted extensive literature reviews and analysis to determine the best solution. We ultimately recommended using "Geofoam Fill" as an innovative solution to retain the existing culvert while avoiding exceeding surcharge load limits on the culvert. Geofoam fill is lightweight compared to soil or rock fills generally used in embankments. It is also cost-effective and does not increase project construction time.  

The Results

The design team proceeded with the design of the Geofoam fill installation. HVJ provided detailed instructions and recommendations to prepare the plans for installing the geofoam fill and incorporated them into the PS&E plan set. TxDOT approved this and prepared a special specification for the installation of Geofoam fill based on our team's recommendations. By employing the Geofoam fill solution and incorporating the corresponding installation details, the design team innovatively addressed the challenge of retaining the existing culvert without surpassing the surcharge load limits. 






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