The Nertherlands

Main road ‘Hoofdstraat’ embankment

Year: 2012

Location: Ossenzijl

Country: The Nertherlands

Volume: 400 m³ expanded clay 4-8 mm

Owner Builder: Local government

Designer: Technical department city of Ossenzijl

Problem / Solution

In Ossenzijl, located in the northern part of the Netherlands, the subsoil of the local main road needed to be reinforced with a material that would combine high strength with minimal settlement. Since the overall subsoil is the Netherlands is very bad and most of the local traffic uses this Hoofdstraat, a quick but yet solid solution was required. Also, draining capacity of the construction material to be used was very important. Therefor, a 45 cm thick layer of expanded clay was placed underneath the road.


Since the ‘Hoofdstraat’ in Ossenzijl is a widely used road, the need for a strong but yet flexible material (tubes needed to be fitted into the road construction) was desirable.

Why expanded clay?

By lightening the embankment with expanded clay, subsoil strengthening and lengthy settlement was reduced. Expanded clay also reduces the risk of bearing capacity failure and increase the stability of the side slopes. Using free draining expanded clay within the road build-up with its high external porosity will break the capillary rise of ground water into the upper construction layers. It will also prevent streams of groundwater to cause damage to the embankment and can act as a balancing storage for temporary flooding.