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Mass Lightweight Fill

By applying unique solutions to increase the safety and longevity of our environment.

Tunnel Adit Fill

The Job

This tunnel adit fill project is part of the Purple Line project outside of Washington, DC. Specifically, the adit is located at the pedestrian connection between the Purple Line project and WMATA’s Bethesda station on the Red Line.

The Challenge

Plans call to connect the Purple Line to the Red Line using an adit constructed during the original construction of the Red Line. The adit is approximately 30 feet wide by a 35 foot tall arch. During preparation to blast from a shaft dropped adjacent to the station, a fault was identified passing through the adit.

The construction and design teams were concerned about stability of the adit during blasting operations as the Purple Line access tunnel was excavated towards it. The team determined that filling the adit to plug and stabilize it during blasting would be the most risk appropriate move.

Filling the adit would fulfill the design challenge of stabilizing the rock during blasting. However, it created the following challenges:

  • the tunnel adit fill material would need to be removed after blasting was completed
  • the adit is approximately 100 feet below grade
  • there is very limited space up top
  • material couldn’t segregate, and had to be pumped approximately 250 feet in addition to the 100 foot drop

The Solution

The tunnel engineer of record recommended CJGeo to the contractor. The EOR is familiar with CJGeo’s cellular concrete generation and placement expertise, and thought that cellular concrete would be the lowest risk way to fill the adit, while facilitating excavation and removal afterwards.

CJGeo took five days onsite to fill the adit, in lifts up to eight vertical feet. Due to the potential dead load from the rock cover, 400psi CJFill-Standard was the material of choice. By using our colloidal mixing dry batch process, the material set off quickly, ensuring that it would not consolidate during cure as lower energy mixing methods can suffer from.

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Facing a similar challenge to this tunnel adit fill project? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Virginia Lightweight Fill

The Job

This Virginia lightweight fill installation is located Norfolk, Virginia. The placement is part of a low income housing development in an area subject to flooding. The site is located a few blocks from downtown Norfolk.

The Challenge

Like many coastal cities, much of the ground in Norfolk is infill. On this site, fill material was entirely uncontrolled. It included construction debris, organics, and silty sands. In order to bring the finish floor elevations above flood elevation, the site needed to come up by nearly eight feet in some areas.

The Solution

CJGeo worked with the structural engineer to design a lightweight backfill program that would help reduce anticipated settlements. After stone columns were installed across the site, the CMU building walls were built on poured footings. After the walls were in place, CJGeo filled the entire building pads with Ultra Lightweight CJFill, with an average density of 25lb/cuft.

CJGeo batched CJFill-Ultra Lightweight with a 80psi at 28 day minimum compressive strength using the dry batch process onsite, and placed at times more than 1,000 cubic yards per day.

Once the CJFill-Ultra Lightweight was in place, plumbers trenched in plumbing, and placed twelve inches of sand on top of the CJFill-Ultra Lightweight. The work took around two weeks, using the dry batch generation method.

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Facing a similar challenge to this Virginia Lightweight Fill project? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Basement Wall Load Reducing Fill

The Job

This basement wall load reducing fill project is located in Lexington, Virginia, on a campus of Washington & Lee University. The scope is part of a new academic building construction project. The building will house the Williams School of Commerce, Economics & Politics.

The Challenge

The building is on a sloping site. The front of the building will be slab on grade, and the back half of the building will be a walk-out basement level. The transition between the two floors is an approximately fifteen foot tall wall with two 90’s.

The basement wall is designed to be braced by the floors and building. However, the floors & building couldn’t be built until the wall backfill was in place. In order to backfill the wall, it would need load reducing fill, or it would need temporary bracing.

The Solution

A structural engineer recommended the general contractor reach out to CJGeo about backfilling the wall with CJFill-Ultra Lightweight low density fill. Working with the structural EOR, geotech EOR & general contractor, CJGeo developed a backfilling plan that would allow backfilling the wall over three days while eliminating the need for temporary bracing.

CJGeo poured three lifts, each about 4.5′ deep. A dry batch process plant running at up to 200 cubic yards per hour backfilled the wall in three days.

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Facing a similar challenge to this basement wall load reducing fill project? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Low Density Bridge Underfill

The Job

This low density bridge underfill project is located on Interstate 95, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The scope is part of a large widening and reconstruction project. The bridge is located over Carver Street, just south of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge.

The Challenge

As much underfill as possible had to be in place prior to the bridge demolition. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to demolish the deck, beams & other structures during a limited closure. There are also multiple underlying utilities which would not tolerate the nearly 5ksf of additional dead load from using traditional flowable fill.

The Solution

In order to fill up to the bottom of the beams, CJGeo designed a mass fill placement plan that stepped in at a roughly 1.5H:1V slope. CJGeo batched CJFill-Ultra Lightweight with a 40psi at 28 day minimum compressive strength using the dry batch process onsite, and placed at times more than 1,000 cubic yards per day.

Once the CJFill-UL was in place to complete this low density bridge underfill, the customer was able to demolish the bridge and beams, only need to bring in a few feet of crushed stone for the pavement base, and then pave the roadway to restore traffic. This was performed during an accelerated closure to minimized traffic disruption. The work took around two weeks, using the dry batch generation method.

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Facing a similar challenge to this low density bridge underfill project? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Lightweight MSE Wall Backfill

The Job

This MSE wall lightweight backfill project is located near Chester, Virginia. The MSE wall is part of a ramp reconfiguration and lengthening project at the interchange of Rt 10 and Interstate 95. Specifically, this ramp is from westbound Rt 10 to northbound Interstate 95.

As part of the ramp lengthening and realignment, the ramp needed to shift out onto an existing embankment.

The Challenge

There was insufficient right of way to widen the embankment without acquiring additional right of way. In order to shift the road without acquiring additional land, the geotechnical engineer of record, Schnabel Engineering, recommended to building a mid-slope MSE wall. The wall design includes a lightweight reinforced and retained zone to eliminate any net change in load. Effectively, when the slope is notched for the MSE wall construction, the difference in fill density allows for increased height.

The Solution

The existing soils were rough 125lb/cuft, and the CJFill-Ultra Lightweight backfill is 30lb/cuft. This allows for two additional feet of fill depth for every foot of undercutting. The final MSE wall lightweight backfill design included a 140psi minimum 28 day compressive strength (ASTM C495).

It took three lifts to backfill the wall, which was at most eight feet tall, and roughly 150 feet long. A composite drain on the slope addresses and water migration through the soil slope, and ties into a gravel bed at the base of the CJFill-UL load reducing fill.

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Facing a similar challenge to this MSE wall lightweight backfill project? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Massachusetts Lightweight Fill

The Job

This Massachusetts lightweight fill project is located at Boston’s Logan International Airport. It is part of Logan Forward continuing improvements to the airport.

The Challenge

As part of this project, the general contractor installed two cast-in-place barrier walls. The space between the barrier walls is between four and nine feet. The walls are curving, have non-vertical faces, and bear on a curving, non-horizontal existing podium slab. The gap between the walls needed to be filled in order to pour a housekeeping slab spanning between the walls.

This work is all on an existing podium structure. So, the fill density between the two walls had to be as low as possible.

The Solution

CJGeo proposed filling between the two walls with CJGrout 20SDB. 20SDB has a similar density and compressive strength to typical expanded polystyrene (EPS, or Geofoam) blocks. However, unlike geofoam blocks, 20SDB:

  • is pumped, so doesn’t require trimming, and fits to any shape
  • expanded onsite, so logistics are significantly simpler
  • cures within a few minutes, so is still quick
  • not affected by petroleum products

A CJGeo polyurethane grouting crew took a single shift onsite to install the 64 cubic yards of CJGrout 20SDB. The general contractor began installing the topping slab the next day.

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Facing a similar challenge to this Massachusetts lightweight fill project? Give us a call or send us an email by clicking on the state marker to locate the Preconstruction Manager that services your area.

New Jersey Lightweight Fill

The Job

This New Jersey lightweight fill project is located in Secaucus, New Jersey. It’s part of a two building, wood framed multifamily structure over a concrete podium. The site is located very close to the Hudson River, so the underlying soils are poor, and there is a high likelihood of future flooding. As a result, the ground was improved using rammed aggregate piers, but then needed to be brought up approximately 2′ above existing grade.

The Challenge

Rammed aggregate piers were only able to improve the site soils so much. To avoid the costs of rigid inclusions or piles, the design team had to reduce the load applied by the backfill needed to elevate the site. The maximum unit weight was 30lb/cuft, and because of potential flooding, the material had to be permeable, in order to reduce uplift potential.

The Solution

CJGeo proposed using 25lb/cuft CJFill-High Permeability to backfill the stem walls, to bring the building pad up approximately two feet. 25lb/cuft CJFill-HP is provides excellent bearing capacity, but is hand excavatable.

Hand excavatability was important on this project. There was extensive under slab plumbing required, and the lightweight fill couldn’t impede on its installation. A great advantage of 25lb/cuft CJFill-HP is that it provides a clean, stable working surface that easily supports mini and mid-size excavators.

CJGeo mobilized a wet batch cellular concrete plant crew to the site. The crew used silt fence to break the roughly 80 thousand square foot pour into roughly 150CY placements. Each individual pour on this New Jersey lightweight fill project allowed the plumbing contractor to drive their mini excavators on it the following day. The plumbers enjoyed the clean, dry working surface.

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Facing a similar challenge? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Pit Fill With Lightweight Flowable Fill

The Job

An abandoned water treatment plant at a federal facility was being rehabilitated and brought back into service. As part of the project, lightweight flowable fill was needed to fill a 12′ deep tank below the building floor needed to be filled before installing a new floor and equipment.

The Challenge

The majority of the pit is below ground water level. The original foundation design used a 62PCF fill density for the pits, presuming they would only ever hold water.

The backfill material also needed to completely encase a number of new micropiles installed for machine bases.

The designer had two competing interests–given the closeness of the water table to finish floor, avoid any buoyancy of the fill material, while using the lightest possible material to avoid inducing any settlement.

The Solution

CJGeo proposed filling the pit with CJFill-UW, at 70lbs/cuft. At 70lb/cuft, there are no uplift concerns, and the material is just barely denser than water, which helps minimize the amount of anticipated settlement. To help ensure future excavatability, CJGeo used a sanded base slurry (as opposed to the usual neat mix slurry) to generate 830CY of lightweight flowable fill material. The 28 day design strength was 150psi. The average 28 day tested compressive strength was 200psi. The removability modulus of the material is 0.75, which means the material is readily excavatable.

Traditional “lightweight” flowable fill is closer to 95lb/cuft. At 150psi, 95lb/cuft material has a removability modulus of 1.18. This is above ACI’s benchmark value of 1 for ease of excavatability.

For this project the CJFill-UW was generated by adding preformed foam to ready mix truck drums. The drum blends the slurry & foam as it rotates. The blended CJFill-UW discharges via the chute directly into the placement area.

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Facing a similar challenge? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Lightweight Temporary Dam Foundation

The Job

This lightweight temporary dam foundation installation was part of flood proofing project a nuclear power plant. The temporary dam can be quickly installed between two large structures in the case of anticipated storm surge. This is to keep flood waters from inundating a sensitive area.

The Challenge

The cooling water pipes for a reactor pass under where the dam goes in the case of a predicted flood. If placed, the dam exceeds the design load of the underlying cooling pipes.

The Solution

The designer elected to excavate 3′ of fill from above the pipes and replace it with 25lb/cuft CJFill-UL . Removing 3′ of 120lb/cuft material and replacing it with 3′ of 25lb/cuft, reduces dead load by roughly 275lb/sqft. The 25lb/cuft material can float, however. So, to address buoyancy, given the minimal cover (2″ of asphalt), geogrid cast into surrounding high density flowable fill acts as a hold down.

CJGeo poured the lightweight temporary dam foundation in two lifts. To void being in a cold joint, the geogrid was placed on sewer bricks. This ensures at least 6″ of embedment in the top layer of CJFill. To assess the readiness of the CJFill-Ultra Lightweight for paving, CJGeo cast a test slab for the customer to run heavy equipment over prior to loading the production area.

This was the first project where CJGeo utilized geogrid for buoyancy control of cellular concrete.

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Facing a similar challenge? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

Lightweight Pipe Backfill

The Job

This lightweight pipe backfill is part of the City of Alexandria’s RiverRenew project, its largest in history. The project includes installation of new interceptors, and a large CSO/conveyance tunnel.

The Challenge

A pile-supported, concrete-encased interceptor needed to be backfilled. Due to the pile support capacity, the maximum allowable density of the backfill was 90lb/cuft.

The Solution

To bring the average backfill density to 90lb/cuft, CJGeo proposed filling between the SOE & concrete encasement with 30lb/cuft CJFill-High Permeability (HP). CJFill-HP has very high permeability, so reduces buoyancy when saturated when compared to other lightweight fill materials. CJGeo successfully filled between the concrete encasement and SOE with 145CY of CJFill-HP. The placements was done in a single, 6′ deep lift in less than an hour.

To facilitate the fast placement speed, CJGeo used a mobile batch plant to generate the CJFill-High Permeability cellular grout onsite. Onsite generation blends dry, bulk cement onsite with water, using custom batch plants which also make generate the preformed foam on site. The cement slurry is around 110lb/cuft, and the preformed foam is around 2.5lb/cuft. CJGeo’s batch plants utilize colloidal mixing, which ensures the highest quality cement paste, and therefore the highest quality finished product possible.

The use of very low density material then allowed the client to backfill on top of the structure with normal unit weight material while maintaining the average 90lb/cuft density through the full depth of the fill column.

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Facing a similar challenge? Give us a shout or shoot us a text. Click the state marker for the location of your project for contact info for the appropriate rep.

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