The emblematic work in Mexico City was stabilized via Maccaferri’s basal reinforcement combination solution using Paralink, Green Terramesh, ParaGrid and BioMac systems
Bicentennial Park is a symbolic work dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the Independence of Mexico.
It is a large urban park located northwest of Mexico City in the Delegation Miguel Hilgado. The proposal to develop and build the park was orchestrated in 1991 when the refinery of Azcapotzalco of Mexican Petrol workers (PEMEX) was censored due to the significant contamination problems generated both in the vicinity and for the whole of the Metropolitan Area of Mexico.
The Bicentennial Park consists of five main areas:
- Nature Garden
- Wind Garden
- Earth Garden
- Sun Garden
- Water Garden
Each area boasts a different landscape that is watered via the help of canals. All areas are linked via a bike path that connects the various parts of the park. In the Wind Garden houses the Bicentennial Plaza. The plaza consists of amongst other facilities, an outdoor auditorium that can accommodate 5,000 people. The open air auditorium is delimited by an artificial embankment with a pyramidal shape with angles of 30 ° and 60 °, and heights ranging from 6-15 meters. The faces of the slopes are fully vegetated.
The area recently suffered from changes in the properties of the soil—i.e. low ground capacity. The surface structure of the slope is endangered by an array of erosion related queries. The high levels of erosion are in fact caused by heavy amounts of rainwater that generates veins, rills and undercuts in the surface. All of these hazards can cause serious flaws in the structure of the slope. In fact, by not having continuity in the soil embankment failures such as translational phenomena may occur.
Due to the low shear strength, rotational failures are caused, that can lead to the collapse of the soil embankment structure. The destruction of this structure leads to the fall of the entire pyramid. As for external stability, the pyramidal section is checked against turning and displacement events that could cause soil thrusts that make up the artificial embankment.
Various precautions measures were installed to resolve the erosion problematic. In 2007 PEMEX, various public universities of Mexico and engineering consultants such as Maccaferri de Mexico (with more than 130 years of experience in geotechnical constructions) launched various environmental reparation works.
A high resistance geomat made out of Paralink was installed to stabilize soil. The standard maximum ultimate tensile strength of ParaLink is 1350 kN/m. Paralink was installed in the Bicentennial Park project in perpendicular directions to allow for an equal distribution of reinforcement. In doing so, differential soil settlements are prevented.
To elaborate further, a Green Terramesh, ParaGrid and BioMac system combination solution was proposed to provide stability for both the external and internal stability of the slope. The Green Terramesh system has the objective of reinforcing and stabilizing unstable areas by uniting them with stable areas that are strengthened by high resistance ParaGrid Geogrids. These geogrids are installed in a horizontal manner thus allowing for a necessary amount of friction between the ground and the geomat—thus achieving stability.
A BioMac erosion protection and vegetation enhancement matting further helps stabilise the areas by controlling erosion caused by precipitation. In other words, it makes the soil more resistant to rain impact and run-off, whilst enabling it to retain the right amount of humidity, and thus creating conditions for an accelerated vegetation rate.
Finally, a MacDrain 2R5 drainage geocomposite was used for drainage purposes; to avoid the infiltration of water into the pyramid structure, potentially weakening it. The geodrain will intercept the possible water flow paths that could generate and sabotage the pyramidal structure.
For further technical information, please download the Case History (in Spanish language) of the Bicentennial Park works
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