Skip to content

Construction of road pavements in soft clays acting as subgrade presents difficulty due to their high compressibility and inadequate support for the overlying pavement layers. This results in premature failure of such roads as they experience vehicular loadings that are comprised of static and dynamic loading. In this study, reinforcement geosynthetics (geogrids and geotextiles) were used as reinforcement inclusions within a granular base overlying a soft clay subgrade. Bench scale static and dynamic plate load tests were conducted to study the benefits from the reinforcement within the pavement structure. The resulting benefits were quantified in terms of base course reduction factor (BCR) and the traffic benefit ratio (TBR). The BCR and TBR were included in the AASHTO design equations and equivalent pavements designed for. TBR consideration in design for reinforced cases resulted in up to double the unreinforced design equivalent standard axles (ESALs) with more than 10% increment in the structural number. For the BCR, there was an increase in the reinforced pavements ESALs by up to 8 times the unreinforced ESALs and a reduction in the equivalent base thickness of up to 40%.