Heavy rains have been pounding the Southwest and the impacts to infrastructure are a regular sight on the nightly news. Subgrade washout is a major problem, and the problems extend well beyond the collapsed roadways and failing underground infrastructure. There are a thousand signs of maintainable problems that, if not treated, could result in a cascade of failures. In this article, we’ll discuss common signs of subgrade washout and how polyurethane injection can help restore the structural integrity of the soil.
Potholes – Potholes are a result of surface soil loss and the soil no longer being able to support the road. They could also be a sign that something more is amiss.
Manhole Settlement – if a manhole is sinking or the roadway around it is showing cracking, there could be major Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) happening. This is where water finds its way to separated joints or cracks and typically takes the soil along with it.
Roadway Cracking and Settlement – This can be caused by many issues, from subgrade washout to I&I occurring in the lateral lines underneath. In either case, the soil is being compromised and eroding away.
Bridge Abutments – If bridge approach and departure slabs are showing settlement signs, there could be soil loss occuring and the slabs are compromised. If failure happens here, the usage impacts could be significant.
Culverts – Joint Separation and I&I are a common occurrence with culverts of all shapes, sizes, and materials. If soil loss occurs here, a failing culvert could mean failure to whatever structure they are supporting.
Concrete Drainage Channels – When drainage channels are undermined the result is a directed water flow being channeled underneath the remaining portion of the structure. This could result in massive soil erosion that could compromise the rest of the channel.
Lateral Lines, Utility Vaults, Catch Basins, etc. – As discussed earlier, separated joints, corrosion, and cracks can lead to I&I. I&I can cause soil loss all around the structure, which can cause the structure to settle, clog, fail, and compromise the structures around it.
How Can Polyurethane Injection Help?
EagleLIFT’s Deep Stratum Injection Process is a highly adaptable solution that focuses on stabilizing soils and the structures around them. The no-excavation process relies on the expansive properties of a two-part expanding polyurethane system, a quick cure time, and impressive compressive strength to fill voids and reestablish structural support.
Once injected, the geotechnical polyurethane permeates the soil and then expands to densify and stabilize the soil while also filling present voids. In the case of underground infrastructure, the polymer will fill voids, stabilize the soil, and seal any cracks or misaligned joints. With roadways and surface structures, the polyurethane will fill voids, stabilize, and densify loose soils, and can be used to lift and level any settled pavement or concrete.
The benefit of using polyurethane injection is the process is fast, cost-effective, requires no excavation, is environmentally safe, and causes minimal disruption to the structure or its operations. We have saved millions for DOTs, municipalities, and commercial customers throughout the Southwestern US by restoring and rehabilitating their structures against issues just like this.
Have a structure that’s at risk? Then contact us today!