Outdoor Enthusiasts Enjoy the Vermont Shorelines Thanks to the GEOWEB® Soil Confinement System

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy scenic views along the Vermont shorelines thanks to the GEOWEB® Soil Confinement System.

by Presto Geosystems

The Colchester Causeway Recreational Trail is a staple for locals and tourists who want to visit the breathtaking shorelines of Vermont. This island line rail trail is the world’s longest bike path across water, with stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains, Mount Mansfield, and the Green Mountains.

The recreational trail spans 13.4 miles long—8 miles of it being paved and the remaining 5.4 miles consisting of crushed limestone. The limestone section traverses Lake Champlain, stretching from Colchester to the Grand Isle in the middle of the lake. The old rail line is unique, as there is an actual gap in the trail over the water that allows boats to pass through. To bridge this gap for bikers, runners, and walkers, a ferry service is available, facilitating access to the trail’s continuation on the Grand Isle where further exploration awaits.

Over the years, the causeway path across Lake Champlain had been battered by winter storms causing sinkholes and portions of the path to wash away from the waves crashing up and over the causeway. In the summer of 2019, there was a dire need for the path to be restored.

photo credit: Presto Geosystems
Storm damage on the causeway path

Storm damage on the causeway path

photo credit: Presto Geosystems
Storm damage on the causeway path

Storm damage on the causeway path

 

Causeway path recovery and mitigation project plan

The Town of Colchester was the project owner with funding provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For the causeway recovery and mitigation project, the project owners required the installation of armor stone on both the lakeside and bay side of the causeway, as well as a 4-inch deep geocell on the path surface to be infilled with crusher dust path surface material. Approximately 10,050 linear feet of path needed to be repaired from the causeway opening in the north to just south of the old rail bridge.

photo credit: Presto Geosystems
GEOWEB Geocells being installed on the recreational trail

GEOWEB Geocells being installed on the recreational trail

GEOWEB® Geocell recreational trail installation

During the summer of 2019, E.J. Prescott Inc (Presto Geosystems’ material supplier) started discussing the trail repairs with the project owner, engineers, contractor, and FEMA. The GEOWEB® Geocells were selected for the multi-use path repairs.

A complimentary project evaluation was completed by the Presto Geosystems engineering team that provided project- and product-specific guidelines the contractor could follow. A manufacturer’s field representative from E.J. Prescott was on-site at the beginning of the project installation to assist and train the contractor on how to install the GEOWEB® Geocells with the product-specific accessories. Having an experienced representative on-site helped minimize the installation time and alleviated any concerns.

Since the owners required a solution to help stabilize and hold the infill material in place, the GEOWEB® mid-sized cell, 4" depth (GW30V4) was selected for this project with a 6-ounce non-woven geotextile separation layer on top of the subgrade. The cells were infilled with a 3/4” stone and topped with a 2” wearing course and the GEOWEB® sections were connected using the patented ATRA® Keys. To complete the project, the contractor installed quarried stones on each side of the path to meet the project requirements.

photo credit: Presto Geosystems
Infilling the GEOWEB Geocells with gravel

Infilling the GEOWEB Geocells with gravel

ATRA® Geocell Connection Key

ATRA® Geocell Connection Key

 

Winter conditions freeze installation

photo credit: Presto Geosystems
Winter storm on the trail

Winter storm on the trail

The project was scheduled to begin on November 1, 2019, and be completed by May 1, 2020.

The project installation began in early November, but just two days into the project, a significant drop in temperatures caused the entire causeway to become covered in ice. Due to the icy conditions, the project was put on hold until the spring thaw. Since the installation of the GEOWEB® Geocells goes quickly, the contractor, JP Sicard, had no issues meeting the May 1 deadline. Thanks to JP Sicard’s exceptional installation work, the trail is now widely used and appreciated.

The Colchester Causeway Recreational Trail reopened to the public in June 2020. Find out more about GEOWEB® Geocells and Presto Geosystems:

About the Author


Presto Geosystems is a leading manufacturer of high-quality soil stabilization and porous pavement products.

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