Caltrans Using Blocks of Polystyrene for Freeway Offramp Support

Caltrans Using Blocks of Polystyrene for Freeway Offramp Support

Originally posted on NOOZHAWK, local news in Santa Barbara

Giant segments replacing dirt in project at Fairview Avenue are lightweight and expected to last hundreds of years.

Photo courtesy of Caldrons

Photo courtesy of Caldrons

The Goleta project as featured in this story is working to:

  • Improve the capacity of two large drainage culverts along two creeks on Highway 101
  • Increase flood control/prevention and  water capacity
  • Reconstruct the highway’s southbound offramp

EPS Geofoam is being used to help support the roadway over the ramp and slope where a large amount of dirt normally would be.

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EPS Geofoam brings stability, longevity, and long life cycle savings that make it cheaper than dirt by solving the problems dirt causes.  Because geofoam weighs substantially less than traditional dirt, it does not put extreme pressure on the ground beneath it.  Geofoam is approximately 1% the weight of dirt and less than 10% the weight of other lightweight fill alternatives.  Additionally, a single truck can carry approximately 120 cubic yards of geofoam versus 12 dump truck loads needed for an equivalent volume of earthen fill.  This reduces hauling costs, both in fuel and labor.  EPS geofoam provides uniform load transfer and eliminated differential settlement.

  • Lightweight – minimizing preloading, surcharging and staged construction
  • Weather Resistant – withstands freeze-thaw cycles, moisture and road salts
  • Doesn’t Settle – less structural inconsistencies
  • Insect and Mold Resistant – will not sustain mold or mildew growth, termite/ant repellant additive available
  • Ease of Installation – lightweight, no heavy equipment needed, cuts easily with a hot wire or saw
  • Environmentally Friendly – 100% recyclable

EPS Geofoam can be used for:

  • Soft soil remediation
  • Lateral load reduction
  • Slope stabilization
  • Structural void fill

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