Collapsible soil engineering in highway infrastructure development

Sandra Houston, W. N. Houston, C. A. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Rapid growth in arid and semiarid regions has brought increased focus on volume change characteristics of moisture sensitive unsaturated soils. One such soil type of concern is collapsible soil. There are numerous reports of pavement problems resulting from soil wetting-induced collapse. The purpose of this paper is to review methods for detecting moisture sensitive collapsible soils and to explore the value and feasibility of various testing and evaluation methods and mitigation alternatives for highway design applications. Findings on site variability for several collapsible soil deposits are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of laboratory and in-situ direct response to wetting tests are discussed. The advantages and limitations of qualitative and nondestructive methods for assessing soil collapsibility are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2002


  • Collapsible soils
  • Highway construction
  • Soil tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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