Geosynthetic-reinforced levees challenged by Hurricane Katrina performed exceptionally well, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has reported. The St. Charles and Jefferson levees are reinforced with geotextiles. The Corps cite the use of geosynthetics as a factor that allowed the levees to perform well under the most severe conditions.
"Both the St. Charles and Jefferson levees were loaded (filled by the storm) during Katrina and performed exceptionally. They were stable and the geosynthetic was inherent to their strength,” said John Bivona, Deputy Chief, Engineering Division, New Orleans District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Geosynthetics are a family of civil engineering materials that are often used in infrastructure construction. Many durable polymers (plastics) common to daily life are found in geosynthetics. Introduced in the 1960s, geosynthetics have proven to be versatile and cost-effective ground modification and environmental protection materials. Most of these materials come in roll form and are delivered to the site in trucks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was one of the first agencies to put geosynthetics to use, and geosynthetics are now used in nearly all areas of civil, geotechnical, environmental, coastal, and hydraulic construction.
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