NAUE Combigrid® Geogrids helped to bridge soft underlying soils at a 38 acre construction site within the Port Itawamba Industrial Park in Fulton, Mississippi.

The Itawamba County Development Council had long looked to develop a 38 acre proposed industrial site on the Fulton Port industrial access road. Eventually they did have a prospective industry that needed all the pros that the site offered. Industrial access, available utilities, port access, rail access, and a timber industry within the region to supply the needed raw materials, were all assets that attracted BlueFire Ethanol to choose the Fulton Port site for their prospective facility.

However, the site had one negative aspect; it was low in elevation with poor drainage. During the construction of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, in the 1970s, many of the adjacent tributaries to the Tombigbee River were re-directed. At the project site, this had caused storm water to be impounded to the extent that wetlands were created, and organic material had been deposited over the years since the waterway was constructed.

A geotechnical investigation of the site revealed that the underlying soils were weak and unstable. After additional testing and analysis was performed it was determined that attempting to undercut the weak soils, and replace with backfill, would be too costly and unpredictable as to the amount or depth of undercut that would be needed.

Terracon, Inc. and Mendrop Wages, LLC, the site design engineer, determined that using a geotextile and geo-fabric combination would be the best alternative to bridging the weak material for the loads anticipated to be generated by the proposed facility.

Mendrop Wages allowed for three alternative applications in the site construction bid. The low bid contractor, Century Construction, Inc., was chosen as the contractor using the Combigrid® 30/30 Q1 GRK3 151 as the desired material for bridging the site.

Combigrid® 30/30 Q1 GRK3 151 allowed the contractor to roll out one material instead of separate geo-fabric and geotextile which reduced labor cost and installation time to meet the project schedule.

The Combigrid® 30/30 Q1 GRK3 151 was placed in the field to the specified dimensions and overlap, and created a platform along with a 1 foot sand drainage layer that allowed the placement of borrow material to achieve the required density.

Project Name: BlueFire Ethanol Facility, Fulton, MS
Engineer: Terracon, Inc. / Mendrop Wages, LLC
Installation Contractor: Century Construction, Inc.
Project Type: Soil Stabilization
Product: Combigrid® 30/30 Q1 GRK3 151