FOUNDATION IMPROVEMENT FOR ROAD AND RAILWAY EMBANKMENTS The design of embankments on compressible soils in strongly dictated by the need of containing settlements within allowable limits. This problem is even more relevant on the abutments of viaducts and for the enlargement of previously existing embankments. In recent times foundation reinforcement by means of columnar inclusions has been progressively applied in practice as an alternative to the adoption of drains and preloading. Starting from a number of examples retrieved from the literature, a variety of reinforcement techniques (piles, deep mixing, jet grouting, stone columns) is herein presented for such peculiar application. Calculation methods proposed for the design of these different techniques are discussed focusing on the interaction between columns, embankments and surrounding soil. A numerical FEM analysis is finally presented, where some of the most common techniques are applied to the reinforcement of a monitored embankment, with the aim of comparing their effectiveness in terms of settlement reduction.
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