Concrete Cloth™ GCCM: Ditch Re-Lining
Caltrans District Three determined that an existing drainage system at the interchange of Highways 65 & 70 in Olivehurst, CA, needed maintenance. The drainage system combines runoff water from the roadways into an existing concrete drainage ditch that was functioning properly but showing significant surface deterioration. The district also wanted to increase the flow capacity of the channel in a certain area to ensure that it could handle the increasing storms that have been facing this specific area, which include El Niño and Pineapple Express storms. These storms can drop several inches of rain within a relatively short time period.
Several options were evaluated by the Caltrans District Three office for the existing concrete trapezoid channels (2 ft. wide bottom, 2:1 side slopes and a 3 ft. depth that was 1,225 ft. long), and they were evaluated on:
- Limited amount of disturbances (to surrounding right-of-way, adjacent properties, traffic and ability to operate during installation if major rain occurred)
- Minimal effects on any current hydraulic flow conditions of the channel and its ability to increase hydraulic flow capacity
- Ease of installation by Caltrans maintenance crews or local unspecialized contractors
- Long term functional longevity
- Minimum installation time
- Reduced total cost of the system
- Environmental friendliness
They selected a Geosynthetic Concrete Composite Mat (GCCM) called Concrete Cloth, manufactured by Milliken Infrastructure Solutions LLC. “This project was ideal for Concrete Cloth GCCM,” said Robert Sjoquist, a Concrete Cloth GCCM distributor through Soil Solutions Inc. in Camarillo, CA. “With financial and time constraints, there is nothing faster or less expensive than this product. I’ve been working with it for over four years and my clients continue to reorder additional materials.”
The current ditch was de-vegetated, anchor trenches were installed at the top of both sides of the existing drainage ditch and major cracked openings of the ditch were filled with a quick-set concrete fill material to minimize any piping event caused by groundwater flow that might later occur. The GCCM was installed from down gradient to up gradient perpendicular to the flow and shingled overlaps were caulked and nailed directly to the existing concrete swale.
“I saw a demonstration of Concrete Cloth GCCM before and noticed how easy it was to install,” said the Transportation Engineer for Caltrans District Three. “When I needed to repair this concrete ditch, I reached out to Kurt Chirbas from Milliken and Robert with Soils Solutions and we agreed that Concrete Cloth GCCM was an ideal option for the
The Transportation Engineer has been back to the site two months after the installation and is pleased with how the resurfaced ditch looks and works. Caltrans District Three is one of several districts to use Concrete Cloth GCCM in California. Caltrans District Three Maintenance Department is looking at using GCCM for many other applications including culvert restoration, swale and ditch protection, fire, weed and rodent protection under guardrails and slope armoring projects soon.