EagleLIFT Completes Culvert Soil Stabilization Repair at Vandenberg AFB, Saving $1.5B Mission
In the construction industry, deadlines are a way of life. Whether you are meeting proposal deadlines, managing costs, minimizing weather delays, meeting contract requirements, etc., the clock seems to always be ticking and pressure is continually mounting. However, recently EagleLIFT performed a culvert soil stabilization and slope repair project at Vandenberg AFB that, if not met, the deadlines would be a costly scenario.
Vandenberg AFB is a Department of Defense space and missile testing base located near Lompoc, California. Vandenberg launches a variety of critical rocket missions for military purposes and also leases launchpad facilities to SpaceX. As you can imagine, its activities are high-profile, high-budget, and highly sensitive to delays.
During the 2016-2017 rainy season, Vandenberg experienced extensive storm runoff that damaged an 84 inch, 200ft long corrugated metal drainage culvert, causing collapse at three separate locations and further degraded the culvert’s corroded bottom. The damage to the culvert caused severe inflow and infiltration (I/I) which destabilized an adjacent slope along the main supply road leading to Space Launch Complex 6 (SLC-6).
When an approximate 30ft deep sinkhole opened up by the supply road, a bypass road had to be installed in order to continue launch operations until a permanent fix was designed for the culvert. When concern began to grow that a 20ft high section of the adjacent slope would slip and the sinkhole wound endanger the new bypass road and delay an upcoming $1.5 billion mission, Vandenberg sought for a temporary fix to strengthen the culvert, slope and avert disastrous and costly delays.
When Vandenberg began designing a repair, the solution was to address 1.) culvert soil stabilization and restoring usable capacity, 2.) ensuring the slope would not slip, and 3.) not impact the environmentally sensitive habitat on the slope.
For the culvert soil stabilization, the AFB determined that chemical grout would be used to stabilize collapsed sections from degrading further into the culvert. The entire culvert was to be stabilized to prevent further soil migration and seal it against further I/I, and the corroded bottom of the CMP would be restored using a flowable fill.
For the slope, a “wedge” injection pattern was designed to provide structural stability at the bottom of the slope and lateral stability to prevent slippage that would cause structural damage to the culvert and irreparable damage to the sensitive environment the slope supports.
“Initially, Vandenberg’s solution for the slope repair consisted of using a compaction grout to provide a dense material for slope stability,” stated Cliff Frazao, Chief Operations Officer of EagleLIFT. “When we were approached for the project we had concern that the compaction grouting footprint could be detrimental to the environmental mission of the project and add too much weight to the area and cause further issues with the culvert.”
Based on these concerns, the slope “wedge” injections were rescoped to utilize a specialized formula of chemical grout that was hydroinsensitive, light-weight and highly expansive. The material’s initial permeation and structural capacity gave Vandenberg confidence in this alternative.
To meet the environmental compliance needs of the project, extensive preparations were necessary to minimize potential delays and protect endangered species that called this site their home. Some of the species included California Buckwheat, El Segundo Blue Butterflies, Tar Plants and the Red-Legged Frogs. To ensure the endangered plant/wild life habitat wasn’t inadvertently violated, environmentalists were onsite to pre-mark the plant life and be on the lookout for wildlife. If any of these species were disturbed or damaged, the project could have seen an immediate shutdown.
In regards to the culvert, EagleLIFT stabilized its entire 200 ft length. At the crushed joints, a 2ft injection of chemical grout created a thick arch of material and densified aggregate. The arch was designed to provide a convex, dense structural layer that would help provide structural stability and reinforcement to the crushed CMP. This would help mitigate further damage from occurring and re-establish limited drainage capacity.
The remaining portions of the culvert were stabilized using a consistent gridded injection pattern. The goal here was to fill any annular voids and restore the bearing capacity of the adjacent support soils.
“This was a high-profile project with an approximate $1.5B mission and national security at stake,” stated Carlos Castillejo, Project Manager for EXBON, the General Contractor for the project. “All eyes were on the EXBON-EagleLIFT Team to complete the project successfully and without delay, something we did with absolute success!”
The terms of the project were to complete the project in a 30-day window, spanning from September 14 – October 14, 2017. The project was completed in 8 days with no delays or adverse environmental impacts.
“We would like to thank both Vandenberg and EXBON for their confidence in EagleLIFT, and we were glad to be a small part of ensuring the missions of our military are executed with the utmost quality and efficiency,” says Donald J. Moody, President and Owner of EagleLIFT. “As a retired USAF Colonel, I take great pride to ensure that EagleLIFT’s operations are top notch especially for our military clients.”
EagleLIFT has offices in Ontario, CA, Concord, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Rialto, CA. EagleLIFT is a Class “A” General Engineering Contractor and holds SB, SBE and DVBE certifications and services Arizona, California and Nevada.
- Void-filling underneath Spillways, Approach Slabs, Manholes and Buildings
- Soil Stabilization and Densification
- Lateral Line Sealing
- Injectable Seepage Barriers
- Slab lifting and Realignment
- Seepage Barrier Repair
- Fast – Chemical Grout sets up to 95% within 15 minutes after injection. The results are immediate and the facilities operations are virtually unaffected.
- Efficient – Moisture content isn’t an issue for chemical grout. Because of this, no matter the soil conditions, chemical grout can be used. Additionally, EagleLIFT has over 20 years of experience in directing its injection patterns to ensure the project goals are a success.
- Light-Weight – Due to the exothermic reaction and close-celled nature of EagleLIFT’s polymers, the polymer is light-weight and strong. The polymer is 200-400% lighter than cementitious and permeation grouts
- Cost-effective – because it takes less of our material, less time and low project footprint, using our polymers is significantly more cost-effective than the competition.
- Safe – Our products are NSF-61 certified, to make sure we have no impact on environmentally-sensitive areas or drinking water supplies.
We Need Your Help!
Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested in working for a growing company who treat their employees right.
Do you have concrete or construction experience? We are looking for a hands-on production crew member to be responsible for completion of slab lifting and foundation repair work. Our crews work hard and get rewarded with competitive pay and benefits. Travel is required as we service all of CA/AZ/NV.
We are offering an exciting career opportunity to an energetic, motivated self-starter to join our sales team. We have WARM leads from potential clients contacting US looking for estimates. We need you to assist in developing our growing markets in Southern CA for our unique and exciting technology.
Come work for the leader in slab lifting and foundation repair. We hire the best because we are the best at what we do. Construction experience desired. Upward advancement readily available!
Ontario, CA – EagleLIFT, Inc, the premier foundation repair and soil stabilization company for California, Nevada and Arizona, has purchased a spacious 6,000 sq. ft. office to serve as its headquarters. Additionally, to support the ongoing growth of the Operations Team, EagleLIFT’s logistics and dispatch center will now operate out of a new location in Rialto, CA.
The relocations were made to meet the demands of EagleLIFT’s continually growing business. The operations team grew by two full-time crews and three trucks within the last year, and EagleLIFT has added four full-time team members to its administrative teams, including an engineering department.
“The new office locations will better serve our customers and meet our growth needs for the coming years,” states President and Founder, Donald J. Moody. “We have seen tremendous growth in the last five years as engineering firms, governments, and commercial building owners continue to adopt our polymer injection process and seek our foundation lifting expertise.”
EagleLIFT is the sole provider of the polymer injection process for California, Arizona, and Nevada. The polymer injection process is used to stabilize unconsolidated soils to increase the soil’s weight-bearing capacity. Additionally, the polymers are used for sealing joints on lateral lines, manholes and other water control structures against inflow and infiltration or settlement. Overall, this process can be used for foundation repair and reinforcement, sewer sealing, culvert rehabilitation, soil densification or creating subsurface injectable barrier walls.
EagleLIFT is also a foundation piering contractor, providing push piers, helical piers and tie-back anchors for foundation reinforcement and lifting.
EagleLIFT has offices in Ontario, CA, Concord, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Rialto, CA. EagleLIFT is a Class “A” General Engineering Contractor and holds SB, SBE and DVBE certifications and services Arizona, California and Nevada.
Comparing One-part vs Two-part Chemical Grout for Sewer Repair
We are often asked to discuss the differences between using one-part and two-part chemical grout for manhole and lateral line repair. Obviously, we are a bit biased when it comes to using polyurethane (two-part) vs permeation (one-part) grout, however we are a provider of both, but only in the right applications. That being said, we understand grout and we understand that each grout has its strengths and weaknesses and are situationally appropriate. This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using both for the purpose of sewer repair. In order to address the applicative potential of permeation and polyurethane grouts, we look at each aspect of the polymers, from chemical characteristics to installation requirements to costs.
Chemical Characteristics and Definitions
Permeation grout is a direct pressure injection of a chemical fluid grout to fill spaces between soil particles without causing excessive movement or fracturing of the soil formation. The one-part grout travels through a soil profile to permeate and densify the contact soil mass with a slight expansion of 2-3% of initial volume. The permeation grout binds as an open cell formation.
Polyurethane grout is a hydro-insensitive plural component grout that expands as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The two-part grout sets and alters the physical properties of a geologic mass, traveling through a soil profile initially by permeation and then by densification due to an expansive exothermic reaction. The polyurethane grout binds as a closed cell formation and has expansive qualities of 15 to 22 times initial volume.
Chemical Characteristics of Permeation and Polyurethane Grouts Comparison
|Components||One-Part Permeation Grout||Two-Part Polyurethane Grout|
|Water Reactive Qualities||Hydrophobic, Hydrophilic||Hydro-Insensitive|
|Soil Densification Process||Permeation and Slight Expansion||Permeation, Exothermic Expansion of Closed Cell Formation|
|Expansive Qualities||2-3% Expansion||1500 – 2200% Expansion|
|Cellular Aspects||Open- Cell||Closed-Cell|
|Cure Time||Variable depending on moisture and catalyst||15 minutes to 90% Density
24 Hours to 100% Density
|Compressive Strength||N/A Free Rise
1,812 PSI (confined with Sand)
|30 to 90 PSA Free Rise
<8000 PSI (confined with Soil)
Permeation grout utilizes a box truck and airless sprayer to deliver the grout with a wheeled gas generator. The product is pumped from a drum/pail and requires available moisture and a catalyst to cure. The one-part grout is injected through 5/8” diameter steel tubing at a spacing of 3.0’ to 6.0’ centers.
The steel tubing is driven to the lowest targeted (termination) depth in a 90% vertical alignment. As injection begins, the tubing is extracted during the injection and may be reused. The first and final injections are at 1.5 gallons and intermediate injections are at 1.0 gallon per foot. Permeation grouting requires no monitoring for movement due to its low expansive qualities.
Polyurethane grout utilizes a fully self-contained injection rig with a 60kW diesel generator set, a 5hp 23 CFM air compressor and a refrigerated dryer/regulation system. The systems use double diaphragm feed pumps and an impingement-style gun.
The ½” diameter steel tubing is driven down to discrete injection elevations. The multiple injection elevations result in stacked spheres of polymer with the tubing being sacrificial upon completion of injection. The tubing can be angled for void fill or centerline foundation repairs. Due to the highly expansive qualities of the two-part chemical grout, monitoring for movement is required using a laser level.
|Permeation Grout||Polyurethane Grout|
|Installation Method||Extracting Tube||Discrete Point Injection|
|Angled Injection Capable||No||Yes|
|Injection Spacing||3.0’ to 6.0’||3.0’ to 6.0’|
|Water Sensitivity||Requires the right mixture of moisture and catalyst. Too much water can result in application not to cure.
|Hydro-insensitive, is not affected by water|
5 Gallon Drums
|Self-contained Injection Rig
60kW diesel generator
CFM air compressor
Double diaphragm feed pumps
What about Costs?
When it comes to cost, there really isn’t a comparison between permeation and polyurethane grout. This is for a variety of reasons, but the primary reason is that permeation grout takes nearly 200 – 400% more material than polyurethane grout, resulting in double to triple the cost. Other aspects have to do with the multiple methods for installing polyurethane grout, whether through lateral injections or in highly saturated environments.
Advantages of Permeation vs Polyurethane Grouting
Permeation grouting has a couple of advantages over polyurethane. The major advantage is that permeation grout can be used in fine sands and silty environments. This is because permeation is the primary method in which the permeation grout is utilized (hence the name), allowing the grout to saturate the layer and the time to saturate throughout the soils. Polyurethane grout is dependent on its expansion as a method for densification. Due to polyurethane’s limited ability to permeate fine sands and silts, the expansion pushes sandy soil layers opposed to binding, compression and stabilization. This limits polyurethane’s ability to densify in these environments.
The limited expansion of permeation grout can avoid over-lifting issues that polyurethane may cause. If polyurethane is overshot, then the polymer can damage sensitive structures, such as brick manholes or dilapidated CMP. This being said, there are several examples in which two-part grouts are used to both stabilize and re-grout compromised brick manholes and CMP, so perhaps this is a matter of contractor expertise
Soil density and PSI are more consistent with permeation grout. This allows designers to provide a more consistent and predictable pressure in the treated area. Predictability is important to those that need to meet specific can be important depending on the situation. This an additional benefit when using permeation grout for tunneling and excavation, as the concentration of the grout is highly predictable and allows for the area of influence to be calculable when trying to design an excavation zone that is properly shored.
Advantages of Polyurethane vs Permeation Grouting
Firstly (and to some most importantly), polyurethane is by far a more cost-effective option and has a great deal more adaptability than permeation grout. Although polyurethane is less effective in highly plastic and fine soils, it is highly effective in aggregates, soils with low granularity and where voids are present. In these environments, polyurethane can provide higher pressure and compressibility than permeation grout.
Polyurethane is also not as sensitive as permeation grout in regards to soil conditions. It is not dependent on moisture and is still effective in highly saturated environments. Additionally, polyurethane’s cure time is fast, setting up to 90% density in 15 minutes whereas permeation grout requires approximately 24 hours in optimal situations.
Adaptability is a major advantage of polyurethane. While permeation grout requires a vertical column in order to install, polyurethane can be shot both vertically and horizontally. This allows for injections to occur from inside of the lateral line, manhole or culvert. Additionally, the permeation and expansive stages of polyurethane help the polymer seek out any present voids and allow it to travel along structures to encapsulate and seal joint separation, voids around the structure and/or loose soils and aggregate. Also, polyurethane can be used to lift and realign structures based on specifically designed injection patterns that lead to upward or lateral movement.
Weight is another area where polyurethane has an advantage over permeation grout. The primary cause of this is due to the high expansion and close-celled nature of polyurethane. Permeation grout works by densifying the soil layer with high saturation, requiring a great deal of product to rehabilitate a single soil layer. The weight differences can range from 2-300% more than polyurethane. With this being said, it really depends on the weights of polyurethane that is being used as there are variations of 2lb all the way to 8lb polymers that are uniquely designed for the application.
Scorecard – Permeation vs Polyurethane Grout
|Permeation Grout||Two-Part Chemical Grout|
|Sandy and Silty Soils||Winner|
|Adaptability of Installation||Winner|
|Wet or Saturated Environments||Winner|
|Risk of Structural Damage due to expansion||Winner|
|Highly Granular Soils||Winner|
|Lifting and Leveling||Winner|
While on paper Two-Part Chemical Grout has more advantages than permeation grout, these advantages are still situational and to the preference of the owner/designer. The importance of these factors are only relatable to the needs of the project and to the value placed by the decision makers. Polyurethane is still a relatively new product being used for sewer rehabilitation applications, but it offers promising results when the benefits are understood and when the right contractor is involved in the design and installation. Also to note, both permeation and polyurethane grout have a wide range of formulations and installation techniques that may overcome some of their weaknesses.
Assess and Sustain Spillways with EagleLIFT’s Scan and Repair Process
Red-flags are being raised throughout California regarding the health of its spillways and flood control structures. The recent drought has left our spillways largely untested and, as we are finding out, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been compromised.
The task seems daunting in such a short timeline, but it may not be as complex as it seems.
EagleLIFT’s Scan and Repair approach is a cost-effective method for identifying issues and then repairing the problems quickly and cost-effectively. Firstly, detecting the problem is the main focus. For this we utilize a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) system to scan the entire spillway and determine if there are any voids present. If voids are present, we then fill the voids and stabilize the structure with our polymer injection application.
EagleLIFT specializes in restoring the weight-bearing capacity of soils using the patented Deep Injection Process. This method of repair is done by injecting a high-density structural polyurethane into the problem zones in a specially designed
injection pattern that fills any present voids and densifies and repairs the soil for its designed use.
In addition to void detection and soil repair, EagleLIFT is also a class “A” General Contractor, so if any additional engineering or repair methods are required, we can bring on the contractor as needed to complete the rehabilitation. We also have
strong bonding capability, safety performance and extensive experience on public works applications.
If you would like any information on our Scan and Repair spillway maintenance program, please submit your information here or call Derek Berthelot by phone (877) 752-2522 or by email at email@example.com.
We have had the Northern California and Nevada regions in our thoughts and prayers as flooding has ravaged the areas causing substantial damage to personal and public property and structures. As the water recedes, there may be structural damage that may need to be addressed immediately to ensure further damage does not occur due to settlement or further soil erosion.
As water moves, soil moves, it is a fundamental concept of erosion. Moving or shifting soil causes base support soils to erode and leads to structural settlement, voids, or shifting structures. In these cases, it is usually best to address the issue as fast as possible as the soil weight-bearing capacity needs should be restored.
Affected structures vary, from residential and commercial buildings to sewer and roadway infrastructure. There are many ways to deal with these issues in a time and cost-efficient manner. Here are some solutions for your needs.
Determining the cause of your problem
You must ensure that the cause of your problems is known. Without this, any proposed solution for your structure may be inadequate or too costly for the repair. If you are going to invest the money in repairing your property, then you should be sure the repair is successful and cost effective.
If the soil supporting the structure was compromised, any present voids need to be filled and the soil’s weight-bearing capacity re-established. Void filling and soil stabilization can be done using the EagleLIFT polymer injection process. Once injected, the polymer will actively seek out any voids below the structure and throughout the soil. The polymer will then begin to expand and densify, restoring or improving the weight-bearing capacity of the soil. The soil repair process is used for a variety of applications including roadway repair, embankment stabilization, dam repair and levee reinforcement and infrastructure sealing.
EagleLIFT offers two forms of structural lifting and realignment, utilizing the polymer injection process or through the use of helical and push piers. If a good option, EagleLIFT’s polymer injection process is by far the most cost-effective solution for lifting. A proprietary injection pattern is used to allow the polymer’s expansive qualities provide upward, which can result in foundation or structural realignment.
Flooding and soil saturation can cause roadways, culverts and bridge approach slabs to sink or become unstable, due to the base soil being undermined by washout or infiltration of the soil into manholes, culverts, and lateral lines. With the use of the EagleLIFT polymer injection application, the soils are stabilized, the infrastructure is sealed, and the structures roadway or bridge approach slab can be leveled and restored to use. The application is quick and cost-effective and can be completed on an emergency basis.
Outfall, Emergency Levee and Dam repair
Water control structures are needed to hold back the floods and if undermined can cause the waters to impact areas they were designed to protect. The Polymer injection application can be used to stabilize these structures by binding the soils and increasing their weight-bearing capacity. This can be used to help the soils from being undermined due to washout.
The EagleLIFT team is here to help you combat the issues that are being created by these floods. If you need any help, please contact Derek Berthelot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!
At EagleLIFT we are thankful for all that we have, for being in business, for having a great team, for our country, and for our wonderful customers. We love what we do and we are thankful to be doing it.
We want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
We hope you are able to take the time to enjoy your family, friends and loved ones.