Beneficial use of dredged materials in Great Lakes commercial ports for transportation projects.
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Beneficial use of dredged materials in Great Lakes commercial ports for transportation projects.

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      This report describes an effort to facilitate beneficial use of dredged materials (DM) from Great Lakes ports and harbors as an alternative construction material in transportation-related earthwork applications. The overall objective is to link together the following components: 1) identify applications for use of DM in transportation-related projects, 2) summarize required geotechnical properties in specific transportation applications, 3) identify available geotechnical test methods to determine those properties, 4) identify specific values of required geotechnical material properties for specific uses, and 5) identify locations within the Great Lakes region where dredged materials meeting these specifications may be sourced. This report pulls together available information on potential applications for the use of DM in transportation earthwork projects, the required geotechnical properties of materials according to federal and state construction specifications, and the geotechnical laboratory and field test methods available to determine these properties. Representative geotechnical properties of DM from select Great Lakes locations are synthesized from available literature and the results of laboratory tests conducted on DM sampled from the Milwaukee confined disposal facility (CDF). Results are evaluated within the framework developed above to assess the suitability of unamended DM from each location for beneficial use in transportation construction. Based on the information obtained, material potentially sourced from these locations has limited direct use in its raw or unamended form. Review of general sediment types in harbors throughout the region, however, indicates that there may be large potential for beneficial use of DM because the sediment type from numerous harbors in the region is predominantly coarse-grained. Fine-grained materials are also a potential source of material if amended or stabilized with other materials (e.g., fly ash). Future effort should focus on laboratory evaluation of stabilized fine-grained DM, detailed field characterization of the physical properties at DM sources throughout the region, and dissemination and outreach to promote the concept of beneficial use of dredged materials in transportation construction.
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