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Engineering a Better Solution

9 International Conference
on Geosynthetics
Brazil 23-27 May 2010

SELECTED GLOBAL CASE HISTORIES

w w w. m a c c a f e r r i . c o m

CASE HISTORY
Ref: UK-IT/CH/EP027 Rev:01, July 08

MO.S.E. PROJECT
VENICE, ITALY
MARINE EROSION PROTECTION
Product: Ballasted Filter Mattress
Problem
Venice has always drawn its unique character from its
surrounding waters and it will continue to do so. Being
Venetian has always meant being part of this "water
city", living with and enjoying the positive aspects whilst
confronting specific problems.
Amongst Venice's most evident problems are those
related to the particular nature of the transport, the
waterborne traffic and the inconvenience caused by the
acqua alta (literally, the high water).
Since the beginning of the 1900s, high waters have
become more frequent and intense. The common
image of Venice sinking reflects a real problem. The
lagoon area floods ever more frequently because the
relationship between water and land has been
profoundly modified, particularly during the last hundred
years.
Solution
To provide complete protection for all built-up areas in
the lagoon from high waters of all levels, an integrated
system of various measures (the MO.S.E. System Modul o Sperim ent al e El ett rom eccani co Electromechanical Experimental Module) has been
developed. This includes rows of gates to be installed
at the lagoon inlets able to isolate the lagoon from the
sea during high tides above the established level and
construction of breakwaters outside the inlets designed
to attenuate the level of the most frequent tides.
At the heart of the system are rows of gates installed
on the seabed in the three inlet channels, housed in a
line of caissons. When not in operation, the gates are
full of water and rest in the caissons on the bed. When
a tide higher than the safeguard level is forecast,
compressed air is introduced into the gates, expelling
the water. As the water is expelled from the gates, they
rotate around the axis of their hinge, until they emerge
and block the tidal flow entering the lagoon. Once
there, the gates remain in position until the tidal event
has passed.

Ballasted Filter Mattress manufacturing yard

Lagoon

Sea

Introduction of air
Expulsion of water

Schematic showing gate lifting process

Client:
MINISTRY OF INFRASTUCTURE, VENICE WATER AUTH.

Main contractor:
MACCAFERRI VENICE PROJECT CONSORTIUM

Designer:
TECHNITAL SpA. VERONA

Products used:
MACCAFERRI BALLASTED FILTER MATTRESS

Date of construction
2004 / 2005

BFM deployment from Bespoke barge onto Lido Bed

In order to protect the gates and caissons from erosion


of the lagoon bed caused by tides and vessel
movements in the lagoon, rockfill protection was
designed to maintain the sea bed level. Fundamental
to the success of this solution is the stability of the rock
erosion protection on the sea bed. The project
designers required a filter layer which would not only
guarantee the hydraulic performance required, but also
was heavy enough to keep the filter in contact with the
sea bed at all times and in all sea conditions. In this
way, instability of the seabed and potential damage to
the operation of the flood gates, is avoided.
The Maccaferri Venice Project Consortium (Adanti
S.p.A, Officine Maccaferri Group and Sarti S.p.A)
developed a system for the production of a unique
Ballasted Filter Mattress (BFM), and a launching
system to meet the clients demands, in lengths to
seamlessly protect the entire width of the lagoon inlets
(from 130-200m long).

Launch Pontoon accepting roll of BFM

The BFM of thickness 4-5cm, consists of:


Industrial polypropylene geomat reinforced with
double twist PVC coated steel wire mesh
Granular ballast filler material
Tough geotextile filter layers, above and below the
reinforced ballast core
Riveted fixing system to connect the BFM layers
A bespoke dockside BFM assembly yard was set up. In
addition marine work-vessels were specifically adapted
to accept and deploy the large rolls of BFM onto the
sea bed.
The installation of the large mattresses (10 m wide) at a
depth of 13 - 18 metres, is achieved by means of a
complex and innovative integrated system of
packaging, transport and unrolling of the individual
elements on the sea bed. Each individual mattress is
wound around floating drums and delivered to a launch
pontoon. Using anchored winch and winding systems
on the launch pontoon, individually controlled by
satellite GPS, the rolls are deployed into the works to
within very accurate tolerances at the seabed.

Detail showing roll of BFM being deployed

The correct positioning of the mattresses is checked


not only by on-board control equipment, but also by
physical underwater inspections, to confirm the
structural soundness and positioning of the mattresses.
Throughout this demanding and unique project, The
Maccaferri Venice Project Consortium proved their
innovation, expertise and entrepreneurialism in solving
and achieving their clients demands to help secure the
Venice World Heritage Site from future inundation.

Underwater inspections of installed BFM

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A. Global Headquarters


Via JF Kennedy, 104069 Zola Predosa (BO) - Italy
T: (+39) 051 6436000 F: (+39) 051 236507
E: comes@maccaferri.com
www. Maccaferri.com

Bureau Veritas Certified Quality System Company


with SINCERT and UKAS accreditation.

CASE HISTORY
ZAF / CH / 004: Eng - Rev. 03, Nov 2007

MARIKANA PLATINUM MINE


MARIKANA, NORTH WEST PROVINCE
GEOTECHNICAL / REINFORCED SOIL WALLS
Product: Terramesh System
Problem
Part of the construction of the plant infrastructure at the new
Marikana Platinum mine in the North West Province entailed
providing access to the 20m high loading bin at the primary
crusher.
The complications associated with such a high earth retaining
structure required the wall to be flexible in nature, since the
wall had to accommodate:

Excessive vertical and horizontal loads (150kPa and 850kN

respectively) imposed by heavy duty Caterpillar 777 mining


dump trucks.
Dewatering of the mining area which could result in
differential settlement.
The presence of a layer of expansive materials in close
proximity to the foundation of the structure.

Dowding Reynard and Associates (DRA), Plant Design and


Control Engineers for Aquarius Platinum approached
Maccaferri SA for design assistance.

Date: Jul 2002

Before wall construction

Solution
A 22,5m high vertical Terramesh System wall was proposed.
The inherent flexibility of the Terramesh System made it an
ideal choice. The design was carried out in-house by
Maccaferris Technical Department with the assistance of the
MacStars 2000 software package using International Design
Guidelines.
At the most critical section of the wall, reinforcement was
provided every 0,5m in the form of 0,5m high Terramesh
units. Additional polymer reinforcement, Terram 110/25, was
installed every 1,0m vertical spacing. Reinforcement length
behind the wall was in the order of 15m.

Terram Grid 110/25

To intersect the groundwater regime, a chimney drain was


installed behind the reinforced zone with outlets taken through
to the front face.

Client name:
AQUARIUS PLATINUM
Main contractor name:
GRINAKER-LTA
Consultant:
DOWDING REYNARD & ASSOCIATES
Product used:
TERRAMESH SYSTEM, PARAGRID
Construction info:
Construction date:
JULY 2002
Completion date:
OCTOBER 2002

Chimney Drain

Terramesh Units

Typical Section

Page 1 of 2

Pioneer Layer

Maccaferri SA (Pty) Ltd reserves the right to amend product specifications


without notice and specifiers are requested to check as to the validity of the
specifications they are using.

Once completed, the tallest Terramesh wall in Africa had a


frontal face area of 1880m. A wing wall on each side of the
headwall tapered off at a slope of 1:2 for an overall length of
wall of 132m.
The entire wall was founded on a metre thick rock pioneer
layer. Only pre-approved selected soil was used for the backfill
operation and compacted to 98% MOD AASHTO. Quality
control on site was strictly monitored.
Benefits
The modular Terramesh System units were manufactured
with the correct reinforcement length before delivery to site.
This allowed for quick and easy installation by the
contractor.

The inherent flexibility of the Terramesh System allows

for settlement and consolidation without excessive


deformation to the reinforced wall structure and loss of
function. Expected settlement during the life of structure
around 300mm.

During construction

Trainers were made available to assist the contractor in


achieving a high standard of rock packing and impart the
necessary skills to the labourers.

Terramesh offers 47kN/m tensile resistance at only 2%.

Any strain or movement within the soil is taken up


instantaneously by the reinforcement.

Date: Sep 2002

The project generated much needed employment. Eighty


labourers were used for the packing of the front face,
alleviating the poverty and contributing financially to the
local economy of the area.

The PVC coated mesh ensures that the long term design

strength of the reinforcement is not compromised by


chemical, biological or environmental degradation.

On-site soil materials were used for the structural backfill,


reducing the overall cost of the project.

Maccaferri offered professional indemnity on the design. A


full time supervisor strictly monitored quality control of
materials and compaction.

During construction

Date: Sep 2002

Maccaferri SA (Pty) Ltd


HEAD OFFICE - DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA

P O Box 15777, Westmead, 3608 Tel: +27-31-700 8456 Fax: +27-31-700 8469 e-mail: dbnsales@maccaferri.co.za
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

P O Box 2285, North Riding, 2162 Tel: +27-11-704 0160 Fax: +27-11-704 0159 e-mail: jhbsales@maccaferri.co.za
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

P O Box 22150, Fish Hoek, 7974 Tel: +27-21-702 1416 Fax: +27-21-702 2977 e-mail: cptsales@maccaferri.co.za
MADAGASCAR

BP 168 Antananarivo 101, Madagascar Tel: +261-20-22-231 02 Fax: +261-20-22-553 90 e-mail: maccaferri@moov.mg

www.maccaferri.co.za
Page 2 of 2

CASE HISTORY
Rev: 00, Issue Date 24/08/2005

BENTO DE ABREU SOCCER STADIUM


BRAZIL, MARLIA - SP
Solution: DRAINAGE
Product: MacDrain TD
Problem description:
The Bento de Abreu Soccer Stadium located in Marilia
City - So Paulo - Brazil is the place where one of the most
important soccer teams from Brazil trains your soccer team, the
Marilia Atletico Club.
This Stadium has a soccer field that was presenting deep
functionality troubles during the rainy period due to the drainage
precarious system.
It was necessary a type of solution that allowed a quick and
efficient installation and which did not interfere in schedule of the
soccer championship.
Before the work

Solution description:
After studying several kinds of trench drain solutions, it opted
to use the drainage system constituted by MacDrain geocomposite drainage, because of their technical properties and
ease constructive.
This new drainage system has been installed in just 4 days and
to avoid any installation damage in the lawn, it has been used a
mechanical trencher equipment to get sufficient width to include
correctly the geocomposite drain and geopipe.

During the work

Customer:
MARLIA ATLTICO CLUBE
Responsible for building:
GRAMADOS MARLIA (GRAMAR)
Used products:
1.380m - MacDrain TD (0,90m)
1.130m - Tube 4
Construction period:
Starting:
Ending:

January/2005
January/2005

During the work

Illustrative Schemes

During the work


During the work

Finished work

Finished work

www.maccaferri.com.br

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

MacDrain TD

TUBE 100mm (PERF.) i=0,50%

CASE HISTORY
Ref: UK / TR / CH / SR028 - Rev: 01, July 08

AYDIN UNCONTROLLED DISPOSAL SITE


AYDIN, TURKEY
SLOPE REINFORCEMENT IN LANDFILLS
Product: Paragrid 100/05 & 50/05, Paralink 700, 500 & 400, Terram 1B, Macline
GCL NL10, Terram 1000 & 4500, 2mm Macline SHE
Problem
As part of the design of the new controlled disposal site
in the Municipality of Aydin (in southern Turkey, near
the ancient ruins of Ephesus) it was necessary to
design - in addition to the bottom barrier system of the
disposal site itself - two structures which acted as
containment dams for the first and second cells. The
gorge had to be divided into two independent cells; the
first cell was constructed at the same time as the
formation of the containment structures whilst the
second cell will be waterproofed as soon as the first
one has been completed and made safe. The cells are
very deep so it has been necessary to build a series of
access roads within the disposal site and for
connection to the town of Aydin.
Solution
The solution developed by the designers has been
based on the techniques and construction practices
which have been in use for some time in Europe with
regard to the barrier system package and considerable
use has been made of geogrids for the formation of the
containment structures for the two cells and for the
embankments forming the site roads. The adoption of
various strengths of geogrids has enabled use of the
soil present on site and the grading of slopes to
inconceivable angles for a loose material, thereby
achieving considerable reductions, both in terms of
costs and material volumes. The bottom barrier system
uses a 2 mm HDPE membrane (Macline SHE) resting
on a layer of low permeability clay covered by a
geotextile protection layer (Terram 4500), used in
combination with a bed of sand and a mineral drainage
layer in which a mesh of drainage pipes has been
incorporated. The clay layer has been replaced on the
steep slopes by a bentonite geocomposite laminate
(Macline GCL NL10), whilst a geogrid-geotextile nonwoven geocomposite (Terram 1B) has been used to

Project layout reinforced earth works shown in brown

Client name:
MUNICPALITY OF AYDIN
Main contractor name:
CENGI CONSTRUCTION SpP (Ankara)
Designer:
SERDAR Engineering (Ankara)
Products used:
Paragrid 100/5 110,000m2, Paragrid 50/05 5,000 m2, Paralink 700
5,000m2, Paralink 500 5,000 m2, Paralink 400 32,000m2, Macline
GCL N10 44,000m2, Terram 1B 30,000m2, Terram 1000 26,000 m2,
Terram 4500 10,500m2, 2mm Macline SHE 45,000m2

Construction date:
November 2006 April 2007

During construction

Date: November 2006

After construction (cell 1)

During construction (future cell containment wall)

After construction (future cell 2 containment wall)

Date: November 2006

Typical design section highest section

The stability of the structures (both


internally and globally) has been checked
using specific software called MACSTARS
(Maccaferri Stability Analysis Reinforced
Slopes). This enables the use of different
types of reinforcement elements (synthetic
and metal), with different mechanical
strengths and with any geometrical
configuration, thereby simulating the
various types of external loads applied to
the structure (point loads and distributed
forces, seismic forces, etc.).The diagram
alongside shows the output for the external
stability checks carried out for a section of
the embankments, in which the slip circles
are highlighted with different colours
depending on the safety factor. This
diagram enables a fast visualisation of the
critical slip surfaces and becomes a
powerful and effective tool for design and
control.

Spring 2007 Installation of bottom barrier system

Puncture-resistant drainage geocomposite Terram B1


Granular drainage material
Non-woven geotextile
Terram 4500 with sand

1m clay layer
2mm HDPE geomembrane Macline SHE
Bentonite geocomposite laminate Macline GCL NL 10
Post construction, North bound off-slip

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A. Global Headquarters


Via JF Kennedy, 104069 Zola Predosa (BO) - Italy
T: (+39) 051 6436000 F: (+39) 051 236507
E: comes@maccaferri.com
www. Maccaferri.com

Bureau Veritas Certified Quality System Company


with SINCERT and UKAS accreditation.

CASE HISTORY
Rev: 00, Issue Date 09/05/2006

CANRASHS SLOPE
PERU, ANCASH
Solution: EROSION CONTROL
Product: MacMat L
Problem description:
In July 2001 the environment department of the Antamina Mining
Company (CMA) had to solve an erosion serious problem, which
it could pledge companies mining economy.
On the road to access Antamina mine, Conococha Yanacancha
Road, which the Canrashs lake is located, was affected by the
construction of the roadway. Soon after its construction, the lake
had a fast increase in the quantity of sediment concentration,
leading damages to fauna y flora in this place.
CMA noted that the main source of sediments was an adjacent
slope. This slope had several points without vegetation and
eroded material was transported until the lake during the rainy
periods.

During the work

To decrease the sediments dragged by the rain, it decided revegetated the slope, and other procedures for controlling sediment.

Solution description:
Maccaferri introduced MacMat Geomat as solution for the protection of slope, respecting the hydrological and topographical
conditions of the location. The technical responsible for this work
a counseled CMA during the design period; also propose other
bioengineering solutions as alternative to MacMat geomat, because until that time it was believed that the two were technically
similar.
One year latter, it was possible to check the results both alternative. The MacMat geomat had a better revegetated behavior on
the tested area than the Biomat blanket. This occurred because
the erodibility level in this place is very high for the erosion control
blanket solution.

During the work

Customer:
CIA MRA ANTAMINA
Responsible for building:
CIA MRA ANTAMINA
Used products
35.000m2 - MacMat L
Construction period:
Starting:
Ending:

August/2001
September/2001

During the work

Illustrative Schemes

Finished work

Finished work

Finished work

Finished work

www.maccaferri.com.br

CASE HISTORY
Ref: UK / IN / CH / RS045 Rev:01, July 08

JAIPUR-KISHANGARH EXPRESSWAY
RAJASTHAN, INDIA
RETAINING STRUCTURES
Product: MACRES VERTICAL CONCRETE PANEL WALL SYSTEM
Problem
During the construction of Jaipur-Kishangarh
Expressway, National Highway Authority (NHAI)
identified that at busy intersections 3 flyovers had to be
constructed which required 12 wing and approach walls
and 6 headwalls. NHAI decided to construct vertical
walls where the maximum height was up to 12.2
metres. The embedment depth into the silty sands at
foundation level would need to be about 3m below
ground level in some stretches, and avoided extensive
foundation improvement schemes.
Reinforced soil walls were selected as the solution
instead of conventional reinforced concrete solutions
due to the cost of the conventional solution was very
high and the authorities wanted to have a system which
was flexible and simple to construct. The structure had
to withstand seismic and highway loadings.

Construction of levelling foundation pads

Solution
The Maccaferri MacRES Vertical Reinforced Earth Wall
System with concrete panels as a facia and Paraweb
high strength polymeric soil reinforcement, was
selected as the optimum solution for the above
problem. Furthermore, the client wished to reuse the
site won marginal fills, which precluded the use of
traditional steel strip reinforcement. Therefore the high
strength polymer reinforcement Paraweb was ideally
suited.
Paraweb is a flat strip reinforcement product
constructed from high tenacity polyester fibres,
encased within a tough polyethylene sheath. These
strips are placed within compacted backfill, reinforcing
it and are connected to concrete fascia panels.

Concrete panels ready for construction

Paraweb was one of the first ever soil reinforcing


materials in the world and has been in use in these
applications since 1977. Each strip has a tensile
strength of between 30kN and 100kN.

Client:
NATIONAL HIGHWAYS AUTHORITY OF INDIA
Main contractor:
GVK EXPRESSWAY, L&T
Consultant:
BCEOM, LASA
Products used:
PARAWEB & GEOTEXTILE, WALL AREA 30,000M2
Date of construction
MAY - DECEMBER 2004

Laying of Paraweb

The connection between the panels & facia is achieved


by galvanized toggles and reinforcement loops.
Structural backfill with an angle of internal friction of 30
degrees was compacted upon the Paraweb
reinforcement.
30,000m2 of walls were constructed in 3 months to a
maximum height of 12m high.
The project was completed 3 months ahead of
schedule and a delighted client has been pleased with
the way the MacRES structure has already weathered
3 monsoons.

Paraweb placement

Installing concrete fascia panels

Construction phase complete

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A. Global Headquarters


Via JF Kennedy, 104069 Zola Predosa (BO) - Italy
T: (+39) 051 6436000 F: (+39) 051 236507
E: comes@maccaferri.com
www. Maccaferri.com

Bureau Veritas Certified Quality System Company


with SINCERT and UKAS accreditation.

CASE HISTORY
Ref: UK / CH / BP013 Rev:02, November 08

A1041 CARLTON BRIDGE


NORTH YORKSHIRE, UK
BASAL PLATFORMS
Product: ParaLink, ParaGrid
Problem
The A1041 links the villages of Snaith and Carlton in North
Yorkshire. The River Aire separates the two communities. The
existing road crosses the river via a steel truss bridge, with
the approaches upon concrete viaducts. The viaducts needed
to be replaced with embankments whilst the original steel
bridge was being retained and strengthened.
As the embankments were constructed over soft ground, a
piled basal reinforced load transfer platform (BRP) would be
required to support the approach embankments on either side
of the River.
Solution
To reduce the embankment load and footprint of the
embankment, main contractor Costain Ltd opted for a
lightweight embankment fill (PFA) to reduce the pile size and
steepened the embankment side slopes by the use of
ParaGrid geogrid reinforcement. This approach reduced the
size and capacity of the piles as well as the total number of
piles in the embankment.

During construction of the approach ramp to the bridge

Based on previous successful experience in similar


applications, Maccaferri offered its Strip System solution. The
Strip System differs from traditional BRP systems in that
instead of reinforcing the entire footprint of the embankment
with geogrid, the design is optimized to the extent that geogrid
is only placed where it is needed. Using 3D finite element
analysis, it can be shown that geogrid strips need only be
located only along the line of, and between, the pile caps
where the load transfer requirement is greatest. This reduces
the amount of geogrid required as well as saving on
embankment construction time.
This methodology was used to specify materials for the
Carlton Bridge embankments and verified using VIPS, a finite
element computer programme from Visage.
Pile cap detail showing Paralink in place

Client:
HIGHWAYS AGENCY
Main contractor:
COSTAIN
Designer:
HALCROW GROUP LTD.
Products used:
PARALINK, PARAGRID
Date of construction
OCTOBER 2001

Monitoring gauges used in embankment

ParaLink strips are high strength, high modulus polyester


based geogrid strips with tough polyethylene sheathing. This
enables Paralink to be placed directly on the pile caps without
concerns of alkalinity degradation or installation damage due
to the rough edges of the pile caps. Available in a range of
strengths from 100kN/m up to 1250kN/m and custom-made
to meet precise design specifications, ParaLink offers
superior uni-directional strength and is BBA Roads and
Bridges certified for a design life of 120 years.
To reinforce the side slopes of the embankment, making
them stand at 60deg from horizontal, Maccaferri specified
ParaGrid geogrid soil reinforcement; a similar product offering
bi-directional strength, to reinforce the slopes to the
embankment. ParaGrid is BBA Roads and Bridges Certified
and is used for structural applications where long-term design
life (60-120 years) is required.

Installation of monitoring gauges

Halcrow requested instrumentation of the sub-soil and strain


readings from the geogrids to ensure that their performance
specification was being met.
Soil instruments Ltd installed profiles gauges, piezometers,
extensometers and inclinometers under each embankment
with strain gauges to the ParaLink strips. The strain gauges
used are of the type normally used on the fuselage of aircraft
to measure strain within the shell of aircraft bodies and have
been set to the anticipated range of strains within the geogrid.
In the past, performance specifications for this type of
structure gave not been verified, other than in the ultimate
surface settlement.

During construction

During construction

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A. Global Headquarters


Via JF Kennedy, 104069 Zola Predosa (BO) - Italy
T: (+39) 051 6436000 F: (+39) 051 236507
E: comes@maccaferri.com
www. Maccaferri.com

Bureau Veritas Certified Quality System Company


with SINCERT and UKAS accreditation.

CASE HISTORY
Ref: CH / UK / RS021 Rev:01, Nov 09

MIXED RSS FOR THE RRESHEN-KALIMASH HIGHWAY


ALBANIA
REINFORCED SOIL RETAINING WALLS & ROCKFALL PROTECTION
Product: Terramesh System, Paralink 300, Steelgrid MO, Macmat R,
Rockfall Barrier CTR 05-07-B
Problem
What is thought to be one of the tallest reinforced earth
structures ever to be built in Europe forms part of the
new Rreshen to Kalimash motorway.
The 103 km long motorway is a key connection
between Durres Port, Albania's primary harbour on the
Adriatic Sea and Kosovo. Journey times of between six
and ten hours will be reduced to two by this new road
and the new route will serve to stimulate the economy
in Albania's North Eastern region.
The 61km long central section of the route travels
through some of the most isolated areas of the country.
It includes dual carriageways of 2 x 3.75m lanes,
supplemented with 2.0m emergency shoulder lanes
through the challenging topography of the mountainous
terrain at an altitude over 1,000m. This section of the
works ultimately included 29 bridges (4.4km total
length), 5.5km of tunnelling and 70 retaining walls
totalling 6.4km in length.

The first courses of the tallest wall being constructed

Due to the mountainous topography of the area, many


sections of the motorway run alternately through large
steep embankment fill sections and slope cuts, with soil
reinforcement, rock-fall protection, erosion control and
re-vegetation measures required. The availability of
large quantities of rock fills generated by the slope
excavations made the choice of embankment fills a
more cost effective alternative to the construction of
viaducts.
Of the 70 retaining walls required, those up to 15m high
were constructed of concrete. However, the 30 walls
over 15m high were designed as reinforced soil
structures to re-use site won fill and reduce the visual
impact.

Client:
GOVERNMENT OF ALBANIA
Main contractor:
BECHTEL-ENKA JOINT VENTURE
Designer:
ALBANIA DRAHT / MACCAFERRI
Products used:
TERRAMESH, PARALINK, ROCKFALL BARRIERS
Date of construction
JUNE 2008 - SEPTEMBER 2009

Laying Paralink primary reinforcement

BBA Certified Paralink can accommodate many fill types

Solution
Bechtel-Enka brought in geotechnical specialists,
Officine Maccaferri (the Italian parent company of
Oxford based Maccaferri Ltd) in a partnership
arrangement to provide engineering design solutions
for the walls.
Maccaferris responsibility encompassed the design
assistance, structural calculations and construction
drawings for the 30 walls. For 20 of the walls,
Maccaferri also provided supervision and construction
management through its local partner Albania Draht.
The 30 composite reinforced soil structures have a total
facing surface area of more than 35,000 m2, with the
maximum wall overall height of 40 m. The walls, where
a steep (84) facing was required, have been
constructed using a hybrid reinforced soil system,
combining two Maccaferri products;
Terramesh System, a double-twisted steel wire
mesh unit which forms structures with the
aesthetics of gabions but with the reassurance of
soil reinforcement.
Paralink 300, a high strength polyester geogrid
(primary reinforcement).

Final design of the 40 m high wall section

The Paralink was spaced at 1 or 2m vertical centres


depending upon the design requirement. These walls
are amongst the highest of their type constructed
anywhere in the world.
Ground conditions on the site varied from rock that was
in parts competent to frequently shattered and fractured
in others. In areas where the rock is at its most
competent, the slopes were simply cut back to near
vertical with rock ditches created to catch falling
material.
On the slopes up to 45o angle above some of the walls,
rockfall protection, erosion control and re-vegetation
measures were installed to protect the motorway below
and to promote rapid establishment of stabilising,
vegetative cover. Maccaferri Macmat R1 6822 GN was
used to stabilise the slope face and reinforce
vegetation.

The tallest wall during construction

On slopes where rocks could detach and fall onto the


highway, SteelGrid MO 150, high tensile strength
rockfall mitigation mesh was installed in conjunction
with anchors and rock bolts to limit rock detachment
and contain friable rock slopes. Finally, where large
rocks were prone to detachment and meshing was not
feasible, Maccaferris 500 kJ high resistance rockfall
barrier (CTR 05-07-B) were installed as rockfall
protection. Specialist design assistance was again
provided by Maccaferri.
Maccaferri Terramesh is a reinforced soil system for
stabilising steep and near vertical slopes. A Terramesh
unit comprises a continuous horizontal panel of woven
wire steel mesh geogrid with a integral gabion fascia
unit. The fascia unit is filled with hard durable rock-fill,

The tallest wall nearing completion

Overview of the highest wall nearing completion

identical to a gabion, and the geogrid tail is then


sandwiched between layers of compacted backfill
material, thereby reinforcing it. Having the geogrid tail
integral with the fascia element removes the need for
any on-site connection or pinning where errors during
installation could occur due to incomplete connection,
or reduced pinning frequency. Terramesh is rapid to
construct, and can even reuse site won materials when
suitable.
Consecutive layers of Terramesh units are then
constructed to form reinforced soil retaining structures
of almost any height when used in conjunction with
high strength Paralink geogrids.
Paralink is a unique high strength uniaxial geogrid used
in basal platforms over piles, soft ground or over voids
caused by mine-workings, caves and so on. Available
in strengths up to 1350kN in a single layer of geogrid,
Paralink consists of polyester reinforcement yarns
encapsulated within a tough polyethylene sheath.
Having been in use since the late 1970s, Paralink has
great pedigree in the geosynthetics market.

Pic.9 - View
of lifted
area into
dintervento
Steelgrid
being
position 2
ready for fixing

Maccaferri Terramesh and Paralink are BBA Roads


and Bridges certified.
The successful Bechtel-Enka/Maccaferri partnership
arrangement is typical of the projects Maccaferri is
increasingly undertaking with complex international
projects, reinforcing their global presence, capabilities
and experience.
High strength Steelgrid being installed on rockface

Officine Maccaferri S.p.A. Global Headquarters


Via JF Kennedy, 104069 Zola Predosa (BO) - Italy
T: (+39) 051 6436000 F: (+39) 051 236507
E: comes@maccaferri.com
www. Maccaferri.com

Bureau Veritas Certified Quality System Company


with SINCERT and UKAS accreditation.