Earthworks, Pavement Sections Design, and Underground Utility Works

All forms of development (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial, public infrastructure, etc.) typically involve some level of earthworks (i.e., excavation/fill) to construct the necessary design elements and/or achieve the desired grade.  The means by which earthworks are conducted at a given site are driven by many factors including (but not limited to):

  • the surface and subsurface conditions encountered;
  • the grade of any fill material to be used;
  • the type of earthworks equipment to be used; and/or
  • the intended use of the design elements being constructed.

The primary concerns associated with earthworks generally center around constructing a subbase that will support the overlying improvements with minimal risk of settlements and/or differential movements within the subbase and underlying native soils.  Proper earthworks are essential in subarctic and arctic climates, as they help to reduce the impact that frozen soils (i.e., seasonal ground frost or permafrost) may have on overlying improvements.  Furthermore, Alaska‚Äôs varied topography, along with its location within a seismically active region of the world, increase the necessity for geotechnical assessment during the design phase and proper earthworks during construction to help reduce the impact that any subgrade failures may have on the proposed improvements.

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