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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-046    Date:  October 2013
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-046
Date: October 2013


Federal Highway Administration Design Manual: Deep Mixing for Embankment and Foundation Support

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The deep mixing method (DMM) is an in situ soil treatment in which native soils or fills are blended with cementitious and/or other materials, typically referred to as binders. Compared to native soils or fills, the soil-binder composite material that is created has enhanced engineering properties such as increased strength, lower permeability, and reduced compressibility. The treated soil properties obtained by DMM reflect the characteristics of the native soil, binder characteristics, construction variables, operational parameters, curing time, and loading conditions.

The purpose of this report is to provide user-oriented DMM design and construction guidelines for the support of embankments and typical transportation-oriented foundations. The use of DMM for liquefaction mitigation and excavation support is also discussed in general terms, since these applications are often associated with DMM projects for embankments and foundations. The embankment and foundation applications addressed in this manual include embankment support (both new embankments and embankment widening), culvert support through an embankment founded on DMM, bridge abutment support, retaining wall foundations, and bridge pier support.

This manual includes guidelines required for U.S. transportation engineers to plan, design, construct, and monitor deep mixing projects for embankment and foundation support. Information includes background on the use of DMM for transportation projects in the United States; a glossary of commonly used terminology and nomenclature; a description of applications, feasibility, and flow of design and construction for DMM projects; site investigation and characterization considerations; ranges of treated soil properties and a procedure for determining treated soil strengths for design; recommended design procedures for embankment and foundation applications and a design example; a description of contract procurement vehicles and recommendations; guidance for developing plans and specifications for contract documents; guidance for developing bench-scale testing and full-scale field testing programs; a description of means, methods, and materials for DMM; an overview of available and recommended quality control/quality assurance procedures and monitoring techniques; and typical costs and methods for estimating costs of DMM projects for comparison with alternative technologies.

Jorge E. Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is distributed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.


Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of the information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvements.


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Federal Highway Administration Design Manual: Deep Mixing for Embankment and Foundation Support

5. Report Date

October 2013

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Mary Ellen C. Bruce, Ryan R. Berg, James G. Collin, George M. Filz, Masaaki Terashi, and David S. Yang

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Geotechnica, Sa., Inc.
P.O. Box 178
Venetia, PA 15367

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Transportation Management
Federal Highway Administration
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered


14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) was Michael Adams, HRDI-40.
16. Abstract

This report provides background on deep mixing for U.S. transportation projects and provides further information on design and construction aspects. This report also includes guidelines required for U.S. transportation engineers to plan, design, construct, and monitor deep mixing projects for embankment and foundation support applications. Considerations for secondary associated applications such as excavation support and liquefaction mitigation are
also discussed.

17. Key Words

Deep mixing, Design manual, Case histories, Quality control, Quality assurance, Specifications, Construction, Feasibility, Foundations, Embankments

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized


SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors








BARTBay Area Rapid Transit
BRNBlade rotation number
CaltransCalifornia Department of Transportation
CDITCoastal Development Institute of Technology
CDMCement deep mixing
CDSMCement deep soil mixing
CPTCone penetration test
CSMCutter soil mixing
DJMDry jet mixing
DMMDeep mixing method
DREDry rotary end
DSMDeep soil mixing
ECIEarly contractor involvement
FDOTFlorida Department of Transportation
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
GCGeneral contractor
GPSGlobal Positioning System
GWTGround water table
ISSIn situ stabilization
LPVLake Pontchartrain and Vicinity
MassDOTMassachusetts Department of Transportation
MDMModified deep mixing
MnDOTMinnesota Department of Transportation
PCCPortland cement concrete
PennDOTPennsylvania Department of Transportation
PWPRPorewater pressure response ratio
QAQuality assurance
QCQuality control
RQDRock quality designation
SPT Standard penetration test
TPFTransportation Pooled Fund
TRDTrench cutting and remixing deep wall method
USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
VDOTVirginia Department of Transportation
WisDOTWisconsin Department of Transportation
WJEWet jet end
WREWet rotary end
WRSWet rotary shaft
WSDOTWashington State Department of Transportation
WVPWet vertical panel


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