Snow-Road Construction - A Summary of Technology from Past to Present
Final rept. Jul 1966-Feb 1975
CIVIL ENGINEERING LAB (NAVY) PORT HUENEME CA
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During 1947, Naval Construction Forces built a compacted-snow airstrip on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Research methods since then have improved the use of snow as a construction material. Snow-compaction techniques and equipment initially developed by the Civil Engineering Laboratory CEL for runway construction have been used to build durable, high-strength roads. At the present time, properly constructed and routinely maintained roads built from specially processed snow can support passenger vehicles, pickups, vans, trucks, and tractor-trailer combinations fitted with flotation tires at gross weights up to 75,000 pounds. Two methods of construction developed by CEL are recommended 1 layered-compaction and 2 depth-processing. In layered-compaction, the most recently perfected technique, a snow pavement, is elevated to a desired height by compacting successive 4-inch layers, using a rotary snowplow to gather, process, and deposit the snow material. The alternative method requires depth-processing, using snow mixers to pulverize material placed on the roadway. This final report documents the evolution of vehicle road systems on snow and presents a synoptic overview, summarizing all aspects of snow-road technology, from theoretical considerations to historical development and recommended procedures.
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