Abstract

Earthwork acceptability of glacial tills presents some unique engineering challenges. These largely derive from the inherent variability and broad particle size range of till materials. This paper presents the methods now commonly used in much of the UK, but especially Scotland, for dealing with glacial tills. The MCV test forms the basis of the approach and the operation of the test is given in outline form whereas applications of MCV tests are described in detail. In particular, details of a method for forecasting the MCV and predicting the moisture content up to 1 year in advance are given. However, when the percentage of larger particles is high and conventional laboratory tests become inappropriate, alternative means of test are required. The circumstances in which this may be the case are detailed and an outline strategy for dealing with such materials is described. The paper is written in terms of the UK Specification. In addition, as the Irish Specification is based on the UK Specification, the information should be simply applied in Ireland. However, one or two issues have arisen that may work against that end. The basic information given in the paper should also be applicable to countries with alternative approaches to the specification of materials for earthworks, albeit with modification as appropriate. The effects of the introduction of design and build and design, build, finance and operate forms of procurement on earthworks are also described, and opportunities for innovative approaches to waste management in the earthworks environment are also discussed.

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