Colorado Bridge Approach Slab Settlement Lift

Bridge Approach Slab Settlement Repair – Crystal Valley Parkway, CO

Asphalt Pavement Lift of a Bridge Departure where the Subgrade had settled and the pavement needed to be lifted

In Castle Rock, CO, along the Crystal Valley Parkway, the Town of Castle Rock, CO was experiencing bridge approach slab settlement of 1,900 SF of bridge approach, departure, and sleeper slabs on two bridge ends and adjoining pavement. Settlement of adjacent sidewalk had also occurred causing an unsafe driving situation as well as dangerous conditions to pedestrians utilizing the crossover sidewalk area. The unstable subgrade reaching below the sleeper slab would need to be treated to stabilize the area before mill and fill of asphalt pavement could be performed.

Bridge Approach Slab Settlement Solution

CST partnered with the Town of Castle Rock, utilizing the URETEK Deep Injection (UDI) process to treat unstable soil, lift the slabs, and realign sidewalk and pavement areas. Dynamic Cone Penetrometer soil tests were performed to correctly identify the weak soil zones. Injection tubes were placed at depth and expanding structural polymer injected to densify and provide stabilization of subgrade soils. Once the soil is stabilized, injections are continued to provide lift and realignment of the slabs and overlying pavement. The URETEK UDI process provides proper support to the soil and heavy sleeper slabs to mitigate against future bridge approach slab settlement and movement, while also providing a solid subgrade for pavement.

Repairs were made in two shifts while allowing traffic to continue utilizing the area vs. time and money spent to reroute. Foundation soils were significantly strengthened to mitigate against future settlement. Bridge approach and departure slabs were lifted back to original elevation as well as stabilization and lift of sidewalk areas. Subgrade soils were quickly and effectively stabilized to provide a strong base for asphalt pavement mill and fill operations. The added benefit of water cutoff effectively arrests soil erosion within the area. Significant savings to municipalities and tax payers vs. alternative methods of rip out and replace. Extended use life of the bridge, sidewalk, and pavement.

Salt Lake City Industrial Road Restoration – UT

Patching, Diamond Grinding and Joint Resealing

Located close to downtown Salt Lake City, Industrial Road at California Avenue needed some well deserved repair. Industrial Road is a critical concrete pavement thoroughfare for industrial traffic and heavy duty trucking in the area as it is located adjacent to a major truck stop and trucker fuel depot. The majority of the concrete pavement was structurally sound but, due in part to sub-grade softening caused by surface water intrusion through the joints, the pavement exhibited differential settlement between the slabs measuring up to 1.5-inches. The combination of constant heavy truck traffic and the presence of water in the sub-grade facilitated continued erosion beneath the slabs.

Although the owner, the Salt Lake City Corporation, considered replacing all concrete slabs. They opted instead to preserve the existing concrete. After all, only 10 percent of the slabs showed cracking. The methods chosen for repair were soil foundation stabilization, slabjacking, slab replacement, stitch-in-time crack repair, dowel bar retrofit (DBR), diamond grinding and joint resealing. A total of 326 dowels were retrofitted on the 1,461 square-yard project. A series of 5/8 inch holes were drilled through the slabs to facilitate the injection of high density expansive polymers into the sub-grade soil to a depth of 3.5 feet. With the deep injection process complete, the same polymers were then injected at the slab/sub-grade interface through the same 5/8-inch holes to fill fissures and voids as well as to lift each concrete slab to match the elevation of adjacent slabs. This process minimized the differential settlement between the slabs. Additional lifting was then employed beneath the slabs to create a 1.5 percent drainage slope from the crown of the road to the curb to facilitate better drainage and safety.

This design engineer decided to test an innovative new crack stitching procedure utilizing polyurethane material and fiberglass panels. The Uretek Stitch-In-Time process was selected and used beneath five slabs that contained minor cracks. Following the slab stabilization and lifting operations, the Stitch-in-Time process required the placement of ½ inch fiberglass panels (stitches) within saw cuts made perpendicular to the slab crack. The cuts were then filled with clean pea gravel and an acrylic bonding material was poured into each cut. Four stitches were placed in each candidate slab.

Following the stabilization, lifting and stitching operations, the retrofit dowel bars were installed in the slabs, severely cracked slabs were removed and new concrete was placed in the necessary areas. Once the concrete was fully cured, the entire area was diamond ground to remove remaining surface defects, increase smoothness and provide a safe, high friction wearing surface. The joints between the slabs were then cleaned and resealed to prevent the intrusion of water and incompressible materials. As a final step, a sealing compound was applied to the concrete surface to provide additional protection.
Another challenge was slab cutting at the joints prior to the lifting process. The summer heat caused slab expansion, which can bind the saw blades and restrict a slab’s upward movement. To prevent this occurrence, a chisel-shaped device was inserted into the saw cut adjacent to the trapped blade and pressure was applied to spread the cut sufficiently to allow the blade to be extracted.

The project was scheduled for 90 days but was completed in a mere 62 days and was under budget. As a result of this successful project, the owner has chosen to use concrete pavement preservation on future projects within the city. The combination of using high density expansive polymers in conjunction with other concrete pavement preservation techniques including dowel bar retrofit and diamond grinding should extend the life of this pavement for approximately 15-20 years.
According to Mike Kendell of SLC Engineering, “Ride quality was greatly improved and Salt Lake City is satisfied with the results.”