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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Civil Engineering Professor Begins Year with Several Grants

May 1, 2006

University of Texas at Arlington Civil Engineering Professor Anand Puppala experienced a rewarding first quarter; he is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on four grants totaling almost $800,000. Two of the grants are from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other two are from the City of Arlington.

Dr. Puppala is joined by Professor Syed Qasim, Associate Professor Laureano Hoyos and Assistant Professor Sahadat Hossain on “Instrumentation Projects for Four Major Geotechnical Tasks” for TxDOT. This project, valued at $428,060, started in Jan 2006 and will run until August 2007. The four objectives are: • A continuation and expansion of studies on the use of compost amendments to reduce shrinkage cracks on shoulders and pavement. Roadways near Stephenville, Corpus Christi, Lubbock and College Station were implemented earlier and have exhibited good results. New sites near Beaumont, Tyler and a city to be named will begin soon. These studies also involve working with the soil amendment process using locally available and TxDOT approved compost products. • A study of the life expectancy of the compost amendments, which are biodegradable. • The installation of field instrumentation to evaluate the performance of recycled asphalt pavements and quarry fines (particles sized between pebbles and sand) as base materials. This project will take place on TX 360, south of I-20 in Arlington. • An instrumentation study to evaluate recycled shales (materials such as roofing shingles) as an embankment amendment. TxDOT Fort Worth District Office Engineer Richard Williammee will monitor the project’s progress.

On the other project for TxDOT, Dr. Puppala will be assisted by co-PI Dr. Hoyos. This project, “Realistic Guidelines for Low Classification Roads on High PI Clays,” is valued at $145,174 and will run to December 2007. It concerns methods to increase the life of low-traffic farm-to-market roads in areas where clay soils with high plasticity indexes cause roadways to deteriorate at faster-than-normal rates. An extensive field instrumentation will be undertaken at four test sites in Texas to provide the field data base, which in turn will be used to develop the modifications to design practice.

Soil stabilization also plays a part in the two studies for the City of Arlington’s Public Works department. Dr. Puppala is the sole investigator on “Comprehensive Studies to Address Combined Lime-Cement Stabilization for Better Support of Arlington Roads.” Valued at $114,830, the project runs to December 2007 and is a follow-up to earlier laboratory evaluations of four types of soil stabilizers for high sulfate, expansive soils. This new project focuses on field evaluations of the best four soil stabilization methods and the development of construction specifications that improve riding comfort and reduce maintenance costs. Sections of Harwood Road are used as test sites.

Lastly, Dr. Puppala is joined with co-PI Assistant Professor Ali Abolmaali on “Evaluation of Treatment Methods to Stabilize Soft Subgrade Soils of Southeast Arlington: Field Investigations.” This $104,000 project runs to September 2007 and is similar to the other City of Arlington project. In this one, tests will be conducted on 12 or more road construction projects where various mixtures of lime-cement are used to stabilize low-to-moderate sulfate soils. Monitoring using digital imaging and non-destructive tests will allow the researchers to determine the effectiveness of the combined chemical treatments to reduce or eliminate pavement distress. City of Arlington Public Works and Transportation Department Engineer Stu Bauman will supervise the progress of both research projects.