DENVER, CO–(Marketwire – May 10, 2011) – ACH Foam Technologies supplied an estimated 2.1 million cubic feet of EPS Geofoam to the second largest Geofoam project in the US: the West Valley TRAX line. Utah Transit Authority (UTA) constructed the light rail line to a new hub in West Valley near Salt Lake City. Projected to cost $200 million and span 5.1 miles, the project required 639 truckloads or 750,000 cubic yards of the lightweight fill material. ACH Foam delivered the first truckloads in Febuary 2009; Geofoam installation was complete by January 2010.
According to project manager Ryan Snow, Geofoam helped both the I-15 and TRAX projects maintain extremely tight construction schedules that would not have been possible if conventional embankment materials had been used. The two projects represent the two largest Geofoam projects in the U.S. to date.
Snow, of Stacy and Witbeck/Kiewit Western and project manager for the West Valley TRAX Project, explained the conditions that indicated Geofoam would be the most advantageous solution: "TRAX required construction of embankments up to 40 feet high. The problem was caused by the Lake Bonneville deposits in the area. The Salt Lake Basin used to be under Lake Bonneville. That basin left deposits under Lake Bonneville that are subject to settlement. Geotechnical reports stated that in the construction areas, the existing soil could have settled up to 5 feet and would have taken up to three years for settlement. We didn’t have that much time. The existing soil conditions dictated that Geofoam would be the most appropriate fill material."
Snow estimated that the twelve-month-long Geofoam installation for TRAX would have taken about three years, had traditional fill been used. "We saved potentially two years. If we had used soil, we would have waited for settlement, or maybe filled partially and then waited some more, and then finished construction later. There are geotechnical methods to expedite settlements, such as soil stabilization and wick drains, but those would also add costs. In the end, Geofoam proved to be the most economical choice. Additionally, Geofoam enabled the fills to take place over existing utilities and near adjacent structures without causing any damage from nearby settlement."
ACH Foam Technologies has provided EPS Geofoam for geotechnical projects for the past 40 years. Geofoam is not restricted to transportation applications. For information on the varied applications for Geofoam visit http://www.achfoam.com/geofoam.aspx.