Skip to content

Design and construction of reinforced soil slope in the heavy rainfall tropical climate in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia

This paper describes the successful use of soft engineering system using the geosynthetics for the design and construction of reinforced soil slope with maximum height of 12m and with slope in-clination of 2(v):1 (h), typically in heavy rainfall zone in Sarawak, Malaysia. The reinforced soil slope system was adopted for this project site as part of the existing road widening. Residual earth fill material was chosen as the reinforced soil material due to the availability of the material on site and hence offered the most economical solution for the project site. However, under the continual influence of the wet tropi-cal climate in Malaysia and acknowledging the fact that the earth fill, being the cohesive material has low permeability, the reinforcing geosynthetic material that was chosen for the reinforced soil slope must have good in-plane drainage property. The hydraulic properties of the reinforcing geosynthetic materials must be adequate to allow drainage to take place so that there will be no built-up of pore water pressure within the fill. Special reinforcing nonwoven geo-composite material with good in-plane drainage property was adopted for the wrap around reinforced soil slope system. This paper discusses the project background and its design criteria in particular the wet tropical climate. The methodology used in the wrap around re-inforced soil slope system was also discussed in the paper. Steel fabric facing panels together with the stones were used for the front facing. The issues that arose during the construction of the reinforced soil slopes were also highlighted in this paper. Site investigations were carried out to ascertain the ground conditions of the proposed site whereby the reinforced soil slope would be constructed. On the basis of the laboratory tests, subsoil parameters of the underlying soil were obtained and were adopted in the de-sign.