Geosynthetics play a varied and important role in infrastructure, from liners and covers for reservoirs to landfill covers. They can be found in highway construction and in coal ash impoundments. They are part of the basic framework of public and private construction, supporting modern expectations for transportation, sanitation and reliable energy.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave American infrastructure a D+ in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. As shown in this issue, geosynthetics can play a significant role in the rebuilding of infrastructure. It may be awhile before Washington moves toward comprehensive infrastructure legislation, but things are moving on state and local levels, and in private industry. Federal infrastructure legislation has become law on a relatively smaller scale, such as the recently passed $19 billion disaster aid package, which includes funds to rebuild infrastructure in areas of the country struck by storms.
In this issue, we take a final look at the Palos Verdes Reservoir liner and cover, the fourth installment in the series of a geosynthetics project in motion. Landfill gas collection and containment is the concern in our second feature, a concern addressed by a minitube blanket, a type of drainage geocomposite. Supporting poor soil beneath a major freeway is the focus of “Stabilization of Subgrade Soils during Interstate 95 Lane Widening,” a problem addressed with geogrids. In the fourth feature, closure of a coal ash impoundment is accomplished using a tufted geosynthetic final cover system, a combination of a geomembrane and engineered synthetic turf.
This is just a small sampling of the many infrastructure applications geosynthetics can address. As federal legislation advances, geosynthetics are at the ready.