Reinforced piled embankment in Antwerp

TenCate Geolon® PET to reinforced road over piles and submitted to extreme high loads

To build a new refinery unit at the site of an oil refinery in Antwerp, a temporary road had to be constructed. Specific problems had to be solved due to the size 27m long, 20m high and the  weight 1.400 tons of the element . There will be several transports driving the temporary road, however the most decisive, is a transport with a load of 80KPa.The road will be used for 1 year, after which the structure will be removed.
The biggest challenge was given by existing pipes underneath the transport route, because they are unable to carry the load of 80 kPa. 

The solution was found in building a bridge over the pipes. The bridge abutments carrying the bridge are placed on concrete piles and the embankments forming the ramps were built over stones columns. The ramp consist of a piled embankment with a reinforced earth wall with a maximum height of 2 meters. To avoid differential settlement at the junction of the ramp with the abutment, the spacing between piles was limited to 1,5m near the bridge but increased up to 3m at the lower part of the ramp in the longitudinal direction. In cross direction, the spacing was maintained at 3m. TenCate Geolon® PET was proposed to reinforce the base, to transfer the loads more directly to the piles and limit the differential settlement between piles.

The most important function of geosynthetic is transferring the major part of the vertical load from the superstructure to the piles and limit the differential settlement between piles. The geosynthetic reinforcement is the most economical answer compared to other traditional solutions.