By Sonia Sorabella Swift, P.E. and Martin G. Taube, P.E., P.G.
As our cities grow and the needs of our societies change, we often look toward optimizing our infrastructure. Reducing daily traffic on heavily-travelled roadways is a common focus for many state Departments of Transportation. Very often, that involves reconstructing roadways wider than the original footprint, widening the roadway into adjacent areas, and building walls to divert or improve traffic flow. However, those areas may not always provide a suitable foundation, especially when tall walls are planned. Some form of a column supported embankment system is commonly used to support such construction. The type of columns and their design can vary widely – from traditional pile foundations with pile caps at the individual column locations to rigid inclusions (RIs) with a load transfer platform over the entire supported area to stone columns. Menard’s patented variation of a rigid inclusion is the Controlled Modulus Column (CMC)®. In this article, we will focus on CMCs and their support of roadway projects. We will describe CMCs, explain how they are used, and review two recent projects where CMCs were used to support transportation projects.
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