Home Skip to main content

Project Details

Title:Design and Construction Monitoring of Surcharged Embankment
Principal Investigators:Steven F. Bartlett and Evert C. Lawton
University:University of Utah
Grant #:DTRT12-G-UTC08 (SAFETEA-LU Extension)
Project #:MPC-390
RH Display ID:13050
Keywords:bridge approaches, design, foundation soils, geotechnical engineering, ground settlement, life cycle costing, pavement distress, subgrade (pavements)


Preserving the health of pavement and bridges, particularly on the National Highway System (NHS) is critical to the structural integrity, functionality, and cost effectiveness of the Nation's transportation system (DRAFT DOT Strategic Plan 2010-2015). In areas along the urban Wasatch Front in Utah, soft, clayey deposits can cause excessive differential settlement and premature pavement damage at bridge approaches resulting from secondary consolidation settlement of the foundation soils. Such settlement is long-term in that it accumulates over many years and can produce a significant bump at the bridge approach. In some cases, the approach fills need to be reconstructed, or frequently maintained using asphalt overlays in the damaged area.

Surcharging of the embankment is a common strategy used by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to reduce secondary consolidation settlement of the underlying foundation soils. Surcharging entails the construction of additional embankment above the final design subgrade in order to overconsolidate the foundation soils. Such surcharging must be sufficiently high and left in place for sufficient duration to overconsolidate the foundation soils effectively; hence reducing the amount of secondary settlement. Unfortunately, design and monitoring of surcharged embankment is not well understood by local geotechnical practice and is often misapplied. The research proposes to develop guidance for the design, monitoring and release of surcharged fills.

Project Deliverables

Project Word Files

  • Show project Word files

    Note to project PIs: please use the Track Changes feature when editing the above Word file(s). Updated document(s) should be emailed to ndsu.ugpti@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050