Compaction Remediation for Construction Sites

Principal Investigator:

Jonathan Chaplin, Associate Professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Project Summary:

The goal of this project was to develop a sub-soiling regimen that will enhance and be compatible with existing erosion control measures. This project is important in minimizing the effect of construction-induced compaction on the urban and rural landscape. Results from this activity could become a building block for use in Best Management Practices that will ensure full vegetative growth post construction, and save on the cost of reapplication of erosion control measures. For a good comparative study, several sites were selected for typical slope and soil type.

This study shows that there are low-cost benefits to deep tillage of right-of-ways. Heavy clay soils are problematic in that improvements in infiltration could not be detected after a single tillage operation. In lighter sandy soils, the benefits of tillage are such that significant increases in infiltration can be gained following a single-pass tillage operation. The differences in tillage implement used could not be detected.

The post-tillage aesthetic appeal when using a non-inverting plow (Kongskilde Paraplow) was apparent in this study. The vegetation was largely undisturbed following tillage, and this would be beneficial in preventing erosion on slopes. The ripper and the DMI equipment inverted more soil, and therefore the tillage operation was less appealing to motorists.

The relatively low cost of ownership and operation for the tillage is overshadowed by the high land cost when new roads are constructed. Tillage would be beneficial on lighter soils, however the "utility congestion" that is likely in such a scenario would make machinery management difficult.

Sponsor:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 08/2004
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Construction