||Stabilization of Soft Clay Subgrades in Virginia: Phase I Laboratory Study
Many pavement subgrades in Virginia consist of wet, highly plastic clay soil. Subgrade quality has a dramatic impact on both the initial cost of pavements and on the subsequent maintenance costs. Options for dealing with soft pavement subgrades include attempting to dry and compact the subgrade; reinforcing the subgrade with a geosynthetic material; applying a chemical stabilizer such as lime, cement, polymer, salt, or other amendment; and/or designing a very thick and expensive pavement section. Lime can be very effective, but many Virginia contractors are hesitant to use quick lime because of dust control and other handling problems. However, hydrated lime and pelletized lime offer alternatives. Many other amendments, including polymers and enzymes, are marketed, but their performance record is mixed and solid engineering data is lacking, which prevents reliable design. The objective of the proposed research is to address this deficiency by performing laboratory tests on Virginia clay soils using several different amendments at varying dose rates and curing times.