Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, (DFI)

Construction of a Ground Improvement Scheme to Support Large Mechanically Stabilized (MSE) Earth Walls in Kitimat, BC Using Cutter Soil Mixing
Brian Wilson, P.Eng. and James Coull, Pacific Ground Engineering, David Siddle, Golder Construction Inc.

In 2012, Golder Construction Inc. was awarded a Design-Build contract for the design and construction of an extensive, deep ground improvement scheme to support up to 20 metres (66 ft) high Mechanically Stabilized Earth walls and bulk earthworks required for the development of the proposed Kitimat Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility at Bish Cove, British Columbia (BC). Utilizing Cutter Soil Mixing (CSM) to construct barrettes consisting of overlapping rectangular panels of in-situ cement-treated soils, a deep mixing scheme, covering an area of approximately 12,900 m2 (15,430 yd2) and comprising some 1645 CSM panels to depths of up to 30.7 m (101 ft), was developed to provide the required static and seismic stability for the LNG structures, and meet the project-specific performance criteria. CSM panels were constructed through varying thicknesses and discontinuous layers of fine-grained, very soft to soft marine deposits, and loose to compact sands, with occasional interbeds of dense sands and gravels. Panel completion criteria was based on soil response factors, as measured by the CSM equipment, with the design requiring a typical embedment of about 2 m (7 ft) into dense silty sand to sand and gravel to provide the required bearing. A total volume of approximately 73,900 m3 (96,660 yd3) of soil was treated with cement to consistently yield average unconfined compressive strengths exceeding 2.5 MPa (363 psi). This paper outlines the challenges associated with the construction and quality control of this large deep mixing scheme in highly variable geotechnical conditions at a remote location with barge-only access, and limited communication facilities. Specifically the paper will discuss the logistical challenges faced and solutions adopted for the project; equipment redundancy requirements for a 24/7 operation; the impacts of wear and tear, as well as variability in subsurface conditions on productivity; quality control processes adopted for the project, including the value of provision of an on-site laboratory; and materials handling issues, and their impacts on mix design and quality control.

 article #1986; publication #1011 (AM-2014)