AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Application of wicking fabric to reduce damage in Alaskan pavements

by Wendy A Presler

Institution: University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2133484
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/11122/6637


Beaver Slide is located near kilometer 177.8 (mile 110.5) on the Dalton Highway. The road is sloped downhill when heading north. The road gradient is approximately 11%, and the road prism is on a side hill. Each year, soft spots usually appear in the pavement structure in late April and remain all summer. These soft spots have been called “frost boils”. The “frost boils” have resulted in extremely unsafe driving conditions and frequent accident occurrences. Conventional repair methods have not worked. A newly developed geosynthetic wicking fabric was installed in the road structure in August 2010. The fabric has a high specific surface area (consequently high wettability and high capillary action) and high directional permittivity. Test results over the initial two year period proved the effectiveness of the wicking fabric to mitigate “frost boils” and the subsequent road softening issue. Data collected during the past four years were analyzed to evaluate the long-term performance of the wicking fabric. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to explore the interaction between the wicking fabric and in situ soils, and to determine the condition of the fabric five years after installation. Advisors/Committee Members: Liu, Juanyu (committee).