VIDEO: Colorado DOT deploys Geofoam for quick restore of sinkhole on main freeway

Confronted with a 300-foot-long sinkhole on U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder, the Colorado Division of Transportation determined to make use of Geofoam blocks to rebuild the freeway’s sunken basis.

Cracks started forming on the five-year-old roadway in July, and inside per week, the retaining wall for the highway collapsed and moist clay soil beneath the highway caved in. Three months later, the freeway lanes have been reopened.

CDOT employed Kraemer North America because the contractor for the $20.4 million emergency mission. The mission concerned inserting 6,100 blocks of Insulfoam Geofoam EPS22 polystyrene geo-synthetic fill.

The mission started with eradicating the collapsed wall from the highest down after which eradicating 4 ft of grime under the wall to get replaced. The Geofoam blocks have been then positioned.

A concrete load-distribution slab was positioned above the Geofoam, then got here a layer of crushed stone adopted by concrete pavement.

A everlasting wall of precast concrete panels was later added for stability for the Geofoam part. The wall is anchored by greater than 100 caissons drilled into bedrock.

A everlasting wall of precast concrete anchored by greater than 100 caissons drilled into bedrock is constructed beside the Geofoam blocks to stabilize them. Photograph credit score: Colorado DOT

The light-weight Geofoam locations much less strain and stress on the underlying soil, the CDOT says. And it’s robust sufficient to assist the freeway whereas additionally stabilizing the slope. CDOT mentioned this was the perfect security possibility whereas additionally permitting it to reopen the freeway’s six lanes as rapidly as attainable.

Insulfoam says the mission threw its crops into excessive gear to satisfy the CDOT’s demand. The corporate despatched 200 truckloads of Geofoam to the positioning over 20 days.

The collapse of U.S. 36. Photograph credit score: Colorado DOT

The corporate pulled from its six crops in Aurora, Colorado; Mead, Nebraska; Phoenix, Arizona; Lakeland, Florida; Puyallup, Washington; and Dixon, California. The blocks have been custom-made to the mission, in sizes of 40 inches by 48 inches by 96 inches. “These massive block sizes will be produced to fill enormous volumes, saving extra time and labor on the Colorado jobsite,” the corporate says.

“We went from zero to 100 mph straight away,” says Kris Essex, territory gross sales supervisor for Insulfoam in Colorado.

This graphic reveals the steps taken to rebuild the collapsed part of U.S. 36. Graphic offered by Colorado DOT