Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 18

Geogrid reinforced soil structures reach new heights

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
CORTEZ HILL MINE CRUSHER
MSE WALL
OWNER

Barrick Gold Inc.
LOCATION

Crescent Valley, Nev.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Ames Construction
DESIGN ENGINEER

Terracon Consultants Inc.
FASCIA SYSTEM

Terrawall units (woven wire mesh)
with stone facing
GEOSYNTHETIC PRODUCTS

Maccaferri Uniaxial geogrids
Nonwoven geotextile
GEOSYNTHETICS MANUFACTURER

Maccaferri Inc.

of MSE walls and RSS. Geogrid installation damage is a function of geogrid type
and the reinforced fill gradation. For tall
reinforced soil structures, where higher
stress levels are imposed to the geogrids,
creep behavior can be critical in successful performance of the structure. In
general, the most significant durability
properties are related to thermochemical
degradation, such as oxidation, hydrolysis and exposure to ultraviolet (UV)
rays. These effects should be considered
in design based on the geogrid type and
project design conditions. Generally, tall
reinforced soil structures require high
tensile strength uniaxial geogrids with
good degradation resistance and lower
long-term deformation.
For years, geosynthetic-reinforced soil
structures have been regularly designed
to reach limited heights due to design
uncertainties, which primarily are related
to the geosynthetics' properties and their
interaction with soil. In the past decade,
the advancement in geosynthetic technology and a better understanding of

FIGURE 4 Cortez Hills Mine Crusher MSE wall cross section
18

Geosynthetics | June July 2019

reinforced soil structures behavior has
enabled design engineers to use geosynthetics, particularly geogrids, as reinforcement for MSE walls and RSS to
reach new heights.

Case histories
The following highway infrastructure
project case histories will present the lessons learned and illustrate that the use of
geogrid reinforcement is a feasible and
economical solution for tall reinforced
soil structures if proper design considerations and materials are selected in addition to quality construction methods.
Cortez Hills Mine crusher MSE wall
A new primary crusher unit was being
added to the Cortez Hills Mine in
Crescent Valley, Nev. The terrain at the
optimum location for the new crusher
was extremely challenging. The crusher
building houses the primary crusher supported on a 45- × 60-foot (14- × 18-m)
reinforced concrete mat foundation with
a maximum real load of 11,000 pounds
per square foot (53,707 kg/m 2 ). The
grade transition between the upper and
lower pads on each side of the primary
crusher structure was designed using
MSE crusher walls, which extend 60 to
80 feet (18 to 24 m) from either side of
the crusher structure to steep fill slopes.
The geotechnical investigation consisted of the excavation of eight test pits
to depths of 3 to 18 feet (1 to 5.5 m),
drilling of one boring to a depth of 100
feet (30.5 m) and the performance of
five seismic surveys. Subsurface conditions at the explorations were generally
consistent and are made up of predominantly well-graded gravels and cobbles
extending to limestone and siltstone bedrock at depths ranging from 1.5 to more
than 18 feet (0.5 to 5.5 m). Groundwater
was not encountered to the maximum
depth explored of 100 feet (30.5 m). A



Geosynthetics June/July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics June/July 2019

Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover1
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover2
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 1
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 2
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 3
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 4
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 5
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 6
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 7
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Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover3
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover4
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