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Northern Ireland has approximately 25,000 km of road network, which encompass a substantial number of large cuttings in Till. A slope failure of a deep cutting in Till at Dromore, along the A1 Belfast – Newry dual carriageway in Northern Ireland was reported by Hughes et al. (2007).
The factor postulated for instigating the slope failures was a reduction in long-term shear strength due to a combination of progressive deformations, strain-softening and dissipation of excess pore water pressure generated during the initial excavation, together with pore water pressure dynamics triggered by weather patterns; such progressive deformation is generally referred to as creep and fatigue.
A reliable estimation of geotechnical parameters is therefore necessary in order to accurately predict the performance of such structures.
This presentation therefore reports the investigations carried out to understand this time-dependent behaviour of overconsolidated Till using three strands of investigation: site characterisation, laboratory investigation and numerical modelling.
More specifically, a review of the pore pressure data is presented, as well as two methods of deducing in situ small strain stiffness, and stress path testing of reconstituted Till samples was carried out under static and dynamic pore water pressure conditions. The results of these laboratory and field stiffness investigations were used to calibrate field-scale hydrogeological and mechanical numerical models of the cutting in Lodgement Till at Loughbrickland.
This research was aimed at aiding asset owners, such as the Department of Infrastructure and Translink, in managing geotechnical risks, allowing them to develop assessment and adaption strategies to ensure the future safety and resilience of geotechnical transport assets.
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Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed on any matters by the presenters or participants during or in connection with this presentation are solely the views of the authors of the respective comments and/or opinions and must not be taken to be the views of ICE or any other organisation. ICE makes no representations, warranties or assurances concerning any information provided in these presentations and accepts no responsibility for the content and/or accuracy.
Ruth Kelly is the current chair of the ICE NI G&S Committee, and a Graduate member of the ICE. After graduating with a MEng in Civil Engineering from QUB in 2012, she undertook PhD research in Geotechnical Engineering, funded by the Department for Infrastructure and Translink. From 2015-2017 Ruth worked as a Research Fellow on the EPSRC funded project 'iSMART: Infrastructure Slopes: Sustainable Management and Resilience Assessment' as a numerical modeller.
Ruth has a number of peer reviewed journal and conference publications, and was awarded the William Dearman Young Author of the Year Award in 2016; she currently holds a temporary role on the QJEGH Editorial board. In the summer of 2017, Ruth joined the Energy, Waste and Water Department in Jacobs, Belfast office as a Graduate Engineer, working primarily in the clean water sector in asset resilience.