Demanding daily heavy traffic at the steel fabricator’s facility caused severe rutting of the existing gravel surface and costly long-term maintenance problems.  The project had the following design criteria:

  • Provide a permeable surface to control storm water runoff
  • Control surface rutting and distribute heavy wheel point loads
  • Be a cost-effective alternative to conventional concrete or bituminous concrete
  • Reduce previous frequent and  high maintenance costs


Duffield Associates, with ACF Environmental, evaluated cost effective design solutions for this challenging project.
An open cell three dimensional GeoWeb Load Support System was selected to satisfy the project requirements. The final pavement cross section consisted of a high density polyethylene perforated geocell GeoWeb, in-filled with drainage stone, placed over a layer of crushed stone and a geotextile separator fabric.
Structural benefits included:


  • Confined aggregates, preventing shear failure and both lateral and vertical movement of the infill material.
  • Providing a stiff load distribution system, effectively reducing subgrade contact pressures and vertical deflections.
  • Controlling differential and total settlement over a low-strength soil subgrade.
  • Thickness and weight of confined vs. unconfined structural support systems was reduced by 50 percent or more.

Environmental benefits included:


  • Reducing off-site storm water runoff, promoting groundwater replenishment.
  • Functioning as a storm water retention system, allowing water to fill the aggregate voids and permeate into the existing ground or stormwater ponds at a controlled rate.
  • Reducing the heat-island effect.