Language specifying use of geosynthetics submitted for Water Resources Development Act 2008

The U.S. House of Representatives will consider increasing use of geosynthetics materials by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and increasing funding for research involving geosynthetics
May 7, 2008 - PRLog -- The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) is pleased to announce that favorable legislative language has been submitted to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to include geosynthetics in the Water Resources Development Act 2008. The language would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) – Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory – Vicksburg, Mississippi to conduct studies, testing and demonstration of applications of geosynthetic materials.

“Decades ago, the Army Corps was the first federal agency to study, test and use geosynthetics in engineered projects,” said John Henderson, chairman of GMA. “It is our hope that the projects outlined in the language that was submitted will expand the knowledge of and use of geosynthetics by the Army Corps.”

Following is a description provided in the legislative language and a list of the projects.

Description: Geosynthetics have been used successfully for more than four decades in many civil engineering applications of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps has reported that none of the levees reinforced with geosynthetics failed during the Hurricane Katrina event the Gulf Coast. The Corps cite the use of geosynthetics as a factor that allowed the levees to perform well under the most severe conditions.

Geosynthetic structures have proven to be both economical in construction and maintenance, as well as a means of conservation of natural resources. Realizing this success, it is prudent to further research and develop the use, and optimization of geosynthetics.

Current state-of-practice and design philosophies should be modeled, and further improved, by developing cost-effective standard test and protocol to achieve optimal performance and the inclusion of geosynthetics as a traditional material for these applications.

Project Request:
Listed below are studies, demonstration projects and requirements that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified as priorities for future testing.

Geotextile tubes
• Using them underwater
• Stacking
• Installing on a slope

Geotextile reinforcement on levees
• Longevity
• Measure settlement or spreading of the base

Geotextile reinforce walls (fold back walls)
• Develop design guidance

Testing the performance of geotextile tubes filled with dredged materials that are placed in the ocean.

Testing the effectiveness of geotextiles used as filters

Geosynthetics in erosion control
• Develop design guidance and protocol for use in levees, dikes, earthen dams and vegetated channel protection

Geosynthetic liners
• Require the lining of canals, pipelines, reservoirs and dams for water conveyance

For information on the innovative use of geosynthetics, contact Geosynthetics Materials Association managing director Andrew Aho, +1 651 225 6907,,

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