Evaluation of Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) for Purpose of Soil Investigation for Low Volume and Inaccessible Road Design

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Addis Ababa University


The Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) is the most versatile rapid, in-situ evaluation device currently available for pavement and foundation design and for various quality control programs. Low volume and Inaccessible roads are those roads which have a design Annual Average Daily Traffic, (AADT design) less than 300 and have problem of access using motorized vehicle especially during rainy weather condition. Design of this type of road in general and soil investigation in particular using conventional method (test pitting and sampling at an average interval of 500m) is very challenging, time taking and very expensive; as the method requires more number of manpower, test pits and soil samples for laboratory testing. Beside, transportation of the collected soil samples to the central laboratory is very challenging due to absence of nearby laboratory places. All these tasks will have a negative impact on the financial and service period of the design work. In contrast, design of low volume roads have budget and time constraints. To give solution for the above problems, searching for other alternative investigation methods is compulsory. Because of its portability, simplicity, cost effectiveness and other benefits, investigation using DCP instrument is one possible alternative method that comes to picture. Therefore, in this thesis, investigation method using DCP method (Alternative-I) is evaluated against the conventional method (Alternative-II) for low volume and inaccessible road design projects considering major evaluation parameters such as cost, time and quality. A case study section has been considered on Anokober – Aliyuamba – Awash arba junction Road Project, from km 36+000 up to km 46+500 with a total of 10.5km as this section represent the low volume and inaccessible road design project. Previously, investigation and pavement design using conventional method has been carried out [1]. For comparison purpose, investigation and data analysis was carried out at the study time at an interval of 500m, and the outcomes are compared with that of the conventional method. Finally, based on the evaluation, as it was expected Alternative-I (using DCP) method is concluded as the better



Road and Transport Engineering