U.S. 275/Iowa 29 Interchange

Project Details:

Owner: Iowa Department of Transportation
General Contractor: Phase 1: Hawkins Construction, Inc.
General Contractor: Phase 2: Ames Construction Company, Inc.
General Contractor: Phase 3: Cramer and Associates, Inc.
Duration of Work: 20 weeks
Subsurface Conditions: Soft clays underlain by loose to medium dense silty sand
Approximate Key Quantities: 26,159 Controlled Modulus Column (CMC)® rigid inclusions, 759,306 linear feet of wick drains

Project Overview:

The I-29 & US 275 Interchange project is the first portion of a multi-phase, multi-year highway construction project. The Iowa DOT awarded the design to CH2M Hill and the overall work to Hawkins Construction. Menard USA was subcontracted to install Controlled Modulus Column (CMC)® and wick drains for ground improvement to support proposed embankment construction.

The site included seven contract areas. The project was impressive for Menard USA in that it had 8 load tests, the most CMCs installed in the US (over 15,000), and had 6 drill rigs operating at one time. Overall, it was a multifaceted, schedule driven project in a generally congested area.

Ground Conditions:

The site required improvement of soft clayey soils for improved bearing capacity, global stability, and settlement control. The soil is characterized by up to approximately 30 ft of soft clays, underlain by up to 20 ft of loose to medium dense silty sand.


Menard USA did not design the ground improvement solution. But overall, the system that was installed was a combination of CMC and wick drains.

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