GEOENGINEERING INVESTIGATION OF AN EROSION INDUCED HIGHWAY STRUCTURAL FAILURE ALONG IFON – BENIN HIGHWAY, SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
Journal: Earth Science Malaysia (ESMY)
Author: Olumuyiwa Olusola Falowo, Adekunle Aliu
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Road infrastructural is one of the most important economic indices for development of a country. Therefore in-situ cone penetration test and laboratory soil analysis were performed at two failed segments along Ifon-Benin highway, with the aim of determining cause(s) and extent of the failure. The cone penetration test was carried out to a depth of about 20 m with a lateral spacing of 20 m along the roadway. The laboratory tests conducted were grain size analysis, Atterberg limit test, compaction test, California Bearing Ratio, and undrained unconfined triaxial test. The results revealed that all the soil parameters fell short of the federal ministry of works and housing specification of Nigeria, with plasticity index (>20%), % fines (>35%), CBR values (<80%) recommended, angle of friction and cohesion are less than minimum standard of 30° and 50 Kpa respectively. The CPT revealed predominant sandy silt to clayey silt topsoil and clay substratum with compressive strength of 20 – 40 KN/m2. The water level is higher than 3 m, consequently far below the road foundation baseline. Findings showed that the upper 6 m of the failed segments has been seriously affected by erosion and flooding. Subsequently the process resulted into excessive settlement of the silt/clayey-subgrade soil underneath the pavement structure. This makes the highway to settle largely under traffic load. In addition, incessant heavy flooding around the embankment/shoulder of the highway might have induced the failure, leading to looseness, and less-cohesion of the layers which invariably reduces subgrade support and weakens various pavement layers.