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Ground Improvement at Norfolk International Terminal Print

A combination of ground improvement techniques were applied to allow construction of a container terminal in Norfolk, Virginia, USA on land reclaimed with dredged material placed over a layer of soft marine clay. Preloading and wick drains, construction of a stabilizing sand shear key and vibrocompaction of underwater-placed fill were used to satisfy operational, environmental and construction-related requirements. Field trials, verification testing and geotechnical instrumentation were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the ground improvement techniques applied; select treatment patterns and spacings; and assess the impact of construction on adjacent facilities. The increase in strength and relative density of the compacted soil and the ageing phenomenon of vibrocompaction were evaluated through a series of borings and piezocones performed before and after compaction. Substantial economic benefits were accomplished by the combined use of the three ground improvement techniques. Design, construction and performance of the ground improvement methods are discussed in the paper.

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Ground Improvement at Norfolk International Terminal