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Guide to Road Design Part 7: Geotechnical Investigation and Design

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Publication no: AGRD07-08 Pages: 90

The Austroads Guide to Road Design Part 7 – Geotechnical Investigation and Design provides those engaged in road design activities with a basic understanding and appreciation of the importance of geotechnical investigations and how road design outcomes and other design activities are influenced by site conditions, associated ground response, geological hazards and locally available materials. The information also provides assistance in preparing briefs and purchasing geotechnical services. Basic information on laboratory tests and some commonly used special geotechnical treatments associated with geotechnical design activities are contained in appendices. This document should not be used a guide for undertaking geotechnical investigations.

 


Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION
  • 1.1 Purpose of Geotechnical Investigations
  • 1.2 Scope of this Part of the Guide to Road Design
  • 1.3 Aims of a Geotechnical Investigation and Design
  • 1.3.1 General
  • 1.3.2 Extent of Geotechnical Investigation
  • 1.3.3 Assess Ground Response to Changes
  • 1.3.4 Assess Geological Hazards
2 OVERVIEW OF GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS
  • 2.1 Preliminary Investigation
  • 2.1.1 General
  • Cost and economic benefits
  • Community impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • 2.1.2 Desktop Assessment
  • 2.1.3 Field Reconnaissance
  • 2.1.4 Preliminary Geotechnical Report
  • 2.2 Approvals for Site Investigations
  • 2.3 Detailed Geotechnical Investigation
  • 2.3.1 General
  • 2.3.2 Identification of Potential Risks
  • 2.3.3 Location and Classification of Rock and Soil
  • 2.3.4 Rock Excavation
  • 2.3.5 Strength and Physical Properties of Soil and Rock
  • 2.3.6 Ground Water
  • 2.3.7 Identification of Areas for Borrow Material
  • 2.4 Design of Special Systems
  • 2.5 Production of Geotechnical Reports
  • 2.5.1 General
  • Part 1 – Site Conditions Information Report
  • Part 2 – Interpretative Report
  • 1. Facts
  • 2. Interpretation
  • 3. Opinions
  • 4. Speculation
  • 2.5.2 Part 1 – Site Conditions Information Report
  • Introduction
  • Description of site
  • Geological description
  • Field investigation
  • Laboratory testing
  • Results of field investigation and laboratory tests
  • Appendices
  • Drawings
  • 2.5.3 Interpretative Report (Part 2)
  • Discussion
  • Recommendations
3 METHODS OF GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATION
  • 3.1 Seismic Surveys
  • 3.2 Auger and Bore Holes
  • 3.3 Penetrometer Testing
  • 3.4 Installation of Stand Pipes (Piezometers)
  • 3.5 Trenching
  • 3.6 Sampling of Materials
  • 3.6.1 General
  • 3.6.2 Test Properties
  • Density
  • Strength of materials
  • Permeability
  • Physical properties (Soil and rock classification)
  • Water quality
4 DESIGN ELEMENTS
  • 4.1 General
  • 4.2 Horizontal Alignment
  • 4.2.1 Rural Areas
  • Flat to undulating terrain
  • Undulating to hilly terrain
  • Mountainous terrain
  • In addition to the factors influencing the alignment in undulating to hilly terrain, geotechnical aspects that may also have an influence in mountainous terrain include:
  • 4.2.2 Horizontal Alignment Urban Areas
  • 4.3 Vertical Alignment
  • 4.3.1 General
  • 4.3.2 Balancing of Earthworks Volume
  • 4.3.3 Disposal of Surplus Fill
  • 4.3.4 Raised Embankments over Wet or Unstable Areas
  • 4.4 Cuttings
  • 4.4.1 Presence of Rock
  • General considerations
  • Rock excavation
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • 4.4.2 Batter Slopes
  • 4.4.3 Suitability of Materials
  • 4.4.4 Interception of Ground Water
  • 4.4.5 Geotechnical Investigations Required for Cuttings
  • 4.5 Embankments
  • 4.5.1 Depth of Topsoil
  • 4.5.2 Stability of Areas on which Fill is to be Placed
  • 4.5.3 Slope of Fill Batters
  • 4.5.4 Rock Fill
  • 4.5.5 Geotechnical Investigations Required for Embankments
  • 4.6 Pavements
  • 4.6.1 General
  • 4.6.2 Rehabilitation and Strengthening of Existing Pavements
  • 4.6.3 Pavement Design
  • 4.6.4 Geotechnical Investigations Associated with the Design of Pavements
  • 4.7 Subsurface Drainage System
  • 4.7.1 Subsurface Drainage Systems for Interception of Ground Water
  • 4.7.2 Pavement Drains
  • 4.8 Foundations for Structures
  • 4.8.1 General
  • 4.8.2 Geotechnical Investigations Required for Structural Foundations
5 SUSTAINABLE DESIGN PRACTICES
  • 5.1 General
  • 5.2 Materials Stewardship
  • 5.3 Minimisation of Erosion
  • 5.4 Water for Construction and Landscaping Purposes
  • 5.5 Preservation of Topsoil
  • 5.6 Use of Non-standard or Recycled Materials
REFERENCES
  • The CBR Test
  • Percentage Swell
  • Soil nails
  • Rock anchors
  • Well points
  • Wick drains
  • General
  • Acid sulphate soils
  • Arsenic contaminated soils

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