Fred Chuck outlined the benefits of geosynthetic materials
Fred Chuck, representing the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), provided information regarding the use of geosynthetic materials in roadway applications before a hearing of the Virginia Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability (VaJCTA) on Monday, May 20.
His testimony included:
- an overview of geosynthetic products and applications.
- the life cycle cost benefits of using geosynthetic materials in roadways.
- an analysis of case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of geosynthetics in
reducing costs and increasing the life span for roadways.
Chuck’s presentation included a review of scholarly studies that underscored the benefits of geosynthetic materials in roadway applications, including:
- preservation of the as-built pavement structural layers indefinitely.
- preventing the loss of strength and permeability of base aggregate due to subgrade soil
- allowing the use of an open, free-draining base aggregate which, by AASHTO design,
offers more than twice the structural contribution of a tight, well-graded aggregate.
(AASHTO is the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.)
- increasing the structural capacity of both the subgrade and the unbound aggregate base,
which allows a 15-25% reduction in the structural section.
- more than doubling the design life of pavements.
- costs vs. other road building materials—geosynthetics offer an inexpensive design
Chuck also provided a review of studies showing the benefits of geosynthetic pavement interlayers that can:
- create pavement moisture barriers.
- increase the strengths of both the base and subgrade.
- become a stress-absorbing interlayer to retard reflective cracking and the layered
pavement survives several times the traffic loading before fatigue cracking begins.
- allow the asphalt overlay to be reduced by up to 1.5 inches.
- potentially double the life of road pavements.