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Risk management framework for embankments over soft ground, M17/ N17 Galway

  • Date(s)
    Tuesday, 12 November 2019
  • Time(s)
    From 6:00 PM
  • Venue
    Alice Perry Engineering Building, ENG-G047 Lecture Theatre, NUI Galway

About the event

The M17/M18 Gort to Tuam PPP Scheme comprises 52km of mainline dual carriageway motorway, 4.2km of dual carriageway, 50 No major structures and significant lengths of side road realignment. Detailed design on the Scheme started in August 2014 with construction commencing in January 2015. Construction was a joint venture of Roadbridge, John Sisk and Sons, and Lagan Construction and encountered challenging ground conditions with both karstic rock and soft ground. Despite various unforeseen delays, including a 1 in 100-year storm inundating the site in 2015, the road was opened in September 2017 some 5 months ahead of schedule.

This lecture describes the approach adopted for earthworks design and for monitoring the construction of embankments over 3 No areas of soft ground comprised peat bog underlain by both calcareous silt and lacustrine clay. The designers were informed by technical papers in similar materials and benefitted from various phases of ground investigation followed by instrumentation and monitoring by the Contractor, Roadbridge. Ground treatment was employed in combination with staged construction of embankments to ensure stability with opportunity taken for surcharge to safeguard long term performance of the pavement. Throughout construction the predicted behaviour of soft ground was calibrated against field records to derive the operational material parameters for the calcareous silt and lacustrine clay to inform decisions on the placing of fill.

About the speaker

Graham Barton is Regional Manager for Tunnels and Ground Engineering and a Glasgow based technical lead for geotechnical work in Scotland and Ireland. He brings a pragmatic approach to working through tricky geotechnical challenges. He joined Halcrow in 1989 after six years with the Highways Improvement Group of Gwent County Council. In 2003, he moved to the Glasgow office to work on an evolving design/ build portfolio, including several roads around Ireland delivered under the Halcrow/ Barry JV. His involvement with the N17/N18 project started in 2014.


Free and all are welcome to attend.

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