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Geotechnical Review and Verification of Trans Sumatera HK GT Assessment

The success of geotechnical works on soft ground relies on important factors such as proper planning,
analysis, design, construction control and supervision. However, this is usually easier said than done and
therefore there are still repeated failures of geotechnical works such as embankment, foundation and
excavation. Most of the failures are quite similar in nature that they are caused by failing to comply with
one or a combination of the above factors. This document presents the review and verification of previous
assessment. Based on previous analysis created by PT. Wiratman, some of problem are indicate from
modeling and result. Problems are below:

1. Assumption mechanical properties determination selection related to field investigation data

Embankment material has Phi = 0. No adequate information laboratories test which
describe parameter of embankment. The generation of undrained shear strength (su) the
subsoil cannot be understood; whether its taken from what laboratory data or only
No adequate information related to residual mechanical properties for Embankment or
Soil. Triaxial test must be provided.
Soil Cohesion and Young Modulus are not clearly related to SPT or CPT investigation
No adequate phreatic surface or ground water level data
2. Layer or strata modeling
No adequate information in creating layer/strata thickness
Description of material each soil is not complete, too general
3. Soil parameter for Phi that used in layer/composite model too pessimism. It should be verified by
series of triaxial test. Very low Phi Assumption for Slope stability is not recommended.

4. Finite element analysis result from Safety factor to deformation value and contour
Unreliable deformation (26m); massive movement
Model with using seismic loading is bellow than 1.2. Liquefaction may occurred in such
base material contain Sand. Consider about higher standard to increase decision
confidence and longterm stability.
No staging model in this assessment; construction safety aspect must be consider by
staging model for deformation information

Above problem lead to pessimistic result and causes higher cost of construction or even uncertainty of
actual condition. Finally, some of guidelines or modification to prevent failures related to geotechnical
works on soft ground are presented.

The inadequacy is generally the result of lack of understanding and appreciation of the subsoil and
geotechnical issues. Hence inadequate assessments, analyses and checks on various modes of failures are
the main causes. Failures due to construction materials and/or lack of supervision account for only 15%.
The remaining 40% of the failures are attributed to combination of both design and construction.

From The Cases of failures investigated, two third of them are due to differential settlements causing
distortion to completed and/or adjacent structures. The results also reveal that all these failures are
avoidable if extra care and input from engineers having the relevant experience in geotechnical
engineering were consulted.

Failures of embankment due to design are commonly caused by the following inadequacies:

Settlement Analysis

It is very important to evaluate both the magnitude and rate of settlements of the subsoil supporting an
embankment. This is to ensure the settlement in the long term will not affect the serviceability and safety
of the embankment. In carrying out stability analysis, it is important to correctly estimate the magnitude
of settlement during construction so that the correct thickness of the fill can be incorporated in the design
to ensure stability. An iterative process is required in the estimation of settlement because the extra fill
(higher pressure) that is required to compensate for settlement will lead to additional magnitude of

The three main settlements which is not clearly described are:

Initial Settlement
Primary Consolidation Settlement
Secondary Compression

Stability of Embankment

It is necessary to design the embankment with consideration for different potential failure surfaces
namely circular and non-circular. The thickness, unit weight and strength of the fill need to be properly
determined. Minimum design surcharge loading of 15kPa is required for embankment design to represent
traffic and unexpected loading during construction. Generally in practice, the factor of safety (FOS) for
temporary stage (construction stage) using undrained strength analysis should be 1.2 or higher and the
long term FOS for effective stress analysis of embankment is usually 1.4 or higher.