PROJECT OVERVIEW

“Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm”

(Singer/Songwriter: Tom Rush)

 

Wethersfield Secondary Track Washout

REPAIR OF LANDSLIDE CAUSED BY HEAVY RAINFALL

Following a period of significant precipitation (Storm Ida), a landslide occurred at TPC River Highlands golf course in Cromwell, Connecticut, along an existing slope facing the Connecticut River. The landslide resulted in a washout within the approximately 65-foot high slope, extending approximately 90 feet along the face of the slope to a distance of approximately 70 feet behind its crest, with a maximum visible depth of approximately 30 feet. An existing railroad track and an underground jet fuel line are present at the top of the slope, running parallel to the crest. The track and fuel line were undermined and left unsupported due to the slope failure. Working closely with ConnDOT and H.W. Lochner, Inc. (the prime consultant), our role in this project included geotechnical subsurface investigation, evaluating potential causes of the landslide and developing a design to reconstruct/stabilize the slope. The final design included mechanically stabilized imported fill, an armored slope face, and drainage improvements. Design was completed in one month; construction was substantially completed and the railroad operations resumed within approximately 3 months after the landslide occurred. The incident was highly visible to the public due to the dramatic nature of the failure and subsequent news coverages.  Upon restoration of the railroad services, the ConnDOT leadership, including the Commissioner of Transportation, visited the site with the engineering and construction team members, thanking and congratulating them for prompt completion of the design and construction.

Wethersfield Secondary Track Washout

Serving as the geotechnical consultant, we coordinated and oversaw a subsurface exploration program for the project which included two soil borings to depths of approximately 100 feet beneath existing grades. Our analysis and design were performed using methods developed by the Federal Highway Administration. The design utilized mechanical reinforcement (i.e., geosynthetics) to improve the stability of the reconstructed slope against global and surficial stability failure. GEODesign applied its extensive experience in slope stability analysis and reinforced slope design to develop a cost-effective design which could be safely and efficiently implemented in the short timeframe required by the urgent nature of the project. Challenges included a very tight design and construction schedule, the needs for close cooperation with ConnDOT, the railroad, the golf course, the jet fuel utility company, and the need for careful planning of construction access and crew safety across the steep slope within the repair area.

The Solutions Unearthed

Client: Connecticut Department of Transportation | H.W. Lochner, Inc.

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