City bolsters high-traffic road
Lee Boulevard has long been one of the most heavily traveled roads in Leawood, Kan. The roadway provides access to popular City Park, which is the focal point of Leawood’s recreational life.
By 2000, the boulevard was in bad shape, damaged by years of high traffic volume. Similarly, the park was showing its age when, that spring, Leawood officials planned to renovate and expand it.
Officials understood that, following the park’s expansion, traffic would increase on access roads, and, as a result, they made plans to rehabilitate Lee Boulevard. In 2001, the city set out to repair the damaged road, including the cracking caused in 2000-2001 by a severe winter freeze-thaw cycle.
The $870,000 rehabilitation involved changing the subgrade on 10,000 square yards of the road. Using BX1100 Biaxial Geogrids manufactured by Atlanta-based Tensar Earth Technologies, the city replaced the existing subgrade, consisting of fly-ash and lime. (The subgrade was impermeable, preventing water from draining through. Consequently, water had frozen and expanded during the winter, causing cracking in the roadway.)
The permeable geogrids allow water to drain through, reducing the possibility of cracking and spalling. They also increase the stability of the aggregate base layers and improve resistance to rutting. As a result of their use, Leawood was able to maximize the load bearing capacity of Lee Boulevard. The city plans to incorporate the product into additional street reconstruction projects this year.