A unique 3D soil stabilization system-GEOWEB®-was developed by Presto three decades ago for fast-built military roads that has transformed the way roads are built over soft subgrades and into remote areas. Even poor soils and sand when confined in the GEOWEB system create a stable load supporting surface for heavy vehicles. This technology translates well for the Canadian Oil Sands where ground and weather conditions-as well as location-makes building roads to access oil sites especially challenging.
Alberta’s Oil Sands has capitalized on the GEOWEB system’s ‘cellular confinement’ technology. A Canadian Oil Company was faced with the challenge of needing to build access roads in Lloydminister that could accommodate construction, drilling and completions equipment with loads exceeding 125,000 lbs (15,000 lb wheel loads). To make this challenge even more difficult, the areas they needed to traverse had extremely soft subgrades of muskeg and saturated clays with CBR (California Bearing Ratio) of approximately 0.9.
The Oil Company chose to use the GEOWEB roadway system as it could greatly reduce the standard cross section required for their soft subgrades from 1.5 m of aggregate to less than 300 mm-leading to huge savings! Another benefit realized was due to the confinement characteristics of the GEOWEB system, they were able to use reject screenings from their crushing operations (coarse sand <5 mm) as infill rather than having to import expensive aggregate materials to site.
The Canadian Oil Company capitalized on additional construction savings as their team of 3 laborers were able to deploy the GEOWEB material at a rate of 280 m2/hour. They simply expanded and secured the GEOWEB sections, followed by infill delivery by large dump trucks, and spreading the infill evenly throughout the cells with a small skid steer. Once filled, the GEOWEB roadway was ready for immediate traffic.
When asked what they thought of the GEOWEB solution, the Construction Procurement Manager with the Canadian Oil Company responded, “We did not like the material, we loved it! The roads have been performing way above our highest expectations.”
The GEOWEB system is a proven solution for building roadways over soft subgrades. No weather restrictions. No temperature restrictions. Easy to transport and easy to deploy material. Use of on-site fill. The GEOWEB system can handle the toughest site conditions, allowing energy companies quick access to their oil.