Reinforced piled embankment on Road 383, Sweden



The connecting road between Vibbyn and Flarken in the region of Luleå (northern Sweden) rests on a soft unstable subgrade. Over time this has led to dangerous situations for road users and the road has even been closed several times a year because of flooding. The time had come to stabilize and reinforce the base course, but then without disturbing the nature. Road 383 runs through a nature reserve and over natural waterways, so every attention has been given to preserving the natural environment. 


The project encompasses measures to repair the road, reinforce the subgrade and improve traffic safety. Two blind bends have been straightened and two bridges – over the Lörbäcken and Brobyån – have been renovated and extended to facilitate the passage of fish. To improve the bearing capacity of the road, wooden piles have been driven into the ground along a large stretch of the route, while concrete piles have been used under and close to the bridges. 

TenCate Geolon® PET has been placed on top of the piles and at the base of the granular mattress to facilitate the load transfer from the structure to the piles. A layer of asphalt is then applied to complete the works.

TenCate Geolon® PET is a woven geosynthetic material for soil reinforcement and base course strengthening that combines considerable strength with an extraordinarily long life span – up to  hundred years:

  • Strength up to 2500 kN/m to insure the embankment stability
  • High stiffness modulus to control the deformation and surface settlement 
  • Long term properties to insure the performance on the lifetime of the structure
  • Form of supply adapted to the application: Long and wide rolls with steel core to facilitate the installation


Geosynthetics reinforcement in piled embankments allows reduction of construction time, granular materials saving and leads to lower environmental impacts.