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Engineering Characterization of Subgrade Soils of Jimma Town, Ethiopia, for Roadway Design

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Department of Civil Engineering, Jimma Institute of Technology, Jimma University, P.O. Box 378 Jimma, Ethiopia
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Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 7940, USA
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Department of Civil Engineering, Private Consultant, (+251) 11 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030094
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 19 February 2020 / Published: 1 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Geophysics)
Soils are naturally occurring materials that carry loads of civil engineering structures including roads and buildings. However, not all natural soils are suitable for such uses due to limited strength and instability under varying environmental conditions. A lack of adequate geotechnical investigations and soil characterization can result in the over-design of foundations, unexpected excavations to remove unsuitable soils, cost overruns, construction delays; and, contract disputes. In this research, an experimental plan was executed to determine the engineering properties of subgrade soil in Jimma Town in southwestern Ethiopia by using both disturbed and undisturbed soil samples. The plan included tests to determine the moisture content, specific gravity, grain-size analysis, Atterberg limits, compaction-density relationship, California Bearing Ratio (CBR), unconfined compression strength, and triaxial shear strength. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis was also conducted to determine the chemical composition of the soil. The soil characterization indicated that soft clay is the predominant subgrade soil type and that it has a very low load-bearing capacity, high plasticity, low strength and, high compressibility, which makes the soil unsuitable to serve as a highway subgrade without the help of soil improvement techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft soil; laboratory characterization; roadway subgrade; geotechnical engineering; Ethiopia soft soil; laboratory characterization; roadway subgrade; geotechnical engineering; Ethiopia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sorsa, A.; Senadheera, S.; Birru, Y. Engineering Characterization of Subgrade Soils of Jimma Town, Ethiopia, for Roadway Design. Geosciences 2020, 10, 94. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030094

AMA Style

Sorsa A, Senadheera S, Birru Y. Engineering Characterization of Subgrade Soils of Jimma Town, Ethiopia, for Roadway Design. Geosciences. 2020; 10(3):94. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030094

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sorsa, Alemineh; Senadheera, Sanjaya; Birru, Yoseph. 2020. "Engineering Characterization of Subgrade Soils of Jimma Town, Ethiopia, for Roadway Design" Geosciences 10, no. 3: 94. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030094

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