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Geotechnical Engineers

Soil Reinforced Embankment on the A6102 in Sheffield

During the summer of 2007 the UK was hit by severe storms which caused considerable disruption to the infrastructure network. Unusually heavy rainfalls weakened the embankment of the A6102, this is the major commutor route to the centre of Sheffield, leading to its failure and eventual collapse into the River Don. The highway that was supported by the embankment was seen as unsafe and closed to traffic whilst a suitable solution was sought.

Geotechnical Engineers

Site Challenge

One of the main problems with this project was the accessibility along the River Don, which flows parallel with the toe of the highway embankment. In order to provide a safe working platform, for the piling rigs and construction plants, at the base of the failed embankment. We placed bulk bags, filled with imported fill, into the river in order to form the edge of a temporary access platform. We then placed additional fill behind the bulk bags to provide a level working platform to install the toe piles and allow construction of the steep reinforced slope.

The A6102 was originally scheduled to re-open at Easter 2009. However we agreed to accelerate the construction program allowing the road to re-open in late 2008, several months ahead of schedule.


The Solution

Because of the unstable condition of the slope and the associated slip debris, we were not able to determine the exact nature and extent of the reinstatement works, hence an adaptable solution was required. It was decided to stabilise the embankment toe with concrete piles and reconstruct the main embankment with a reinforced soil slope.

The reinforced soil embankment comprised a wraparound face construction, this required various strength grades of Huesker's Fortrac Geogrid, with a front face consisting of top soil and a green mesh integrated behind the geogrids. After completion we used a drought-tolerant seed mix to hydro-seed the reinforced soil embankment in order to aid and promote vegetation and help the reconstructed slope blend into the scenic Don Valley.


Geotechnical Engineering


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