Occurrence of shale soils along the Calabar-Itu highway, Southeastern Nigeria and their implication for the subgrade construction

Abstract

This study concerned a stretch of 17 km of a 94-km highway alignment in Southeastern Nigeria that has a high incidence of pavement failure arising from subgrade failure. The subgrade of this section of the roadway is composed of Ekenkpon shale, New Netim marl, and Nkporo shale. Under the Unified Soil Classification System, the shales classify as OH (organic clay) and the marl classifies as MH (inorganic silt). Under the American Association of State and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) M 145 soil classification, all these soils classify as A-7-5 soil. Using the AASHTO M 145 group index, none of these soils was considered suitable as subgrade in its native form. Therefore, cement was investigated as a stabilizing agent. Testing demonstrated that 7, 3 and 12 % by weight were the optimum cement contents to reinforce the Ekenkpon shale, New Netim marl, and Nkporo shale, respectively.

DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-1822-4

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