June 13th, 2024

How to Build Roads with On-Site Material Using Presto Geosystems’ GEOWEB® Geocells

Innovations in construction technology are continuously reshaping how infrastructure projects are approached, and the GEOWEB system stands at the forefront of this revolution. Designed to stabilize soils using a unique cellular confinement method, the GEOWEB system allows for the efficient use of on-site materials, transforming them into a stable foundation for roads and other load-bearing structures. This article explores how the GEOWEB system leverages these materials to reduce environmental impact and construction costs while enhancing the durability and sustainability of projects. Join us as we delve into the benefits, applications, and practical considerations of using the GEOWEB Geocells in modern road construction.

What are GEOWEB Geocells?

Developed by the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and Presto Geosystems for soil stabilization challenges, the GEOWEB 3D Soil Stabilization System is the original and most complete geocell system. The technology of cellular confinement is powerful yet simple. Through an interconnected honeycomb-like network, 3D geocells confine and stabilize soils that would otherwise be unstable. Geocells are efficient and economical for fast-built unpaved roadways, retaining walls, erosion control on slopes, and stormwater control in channels.

GEOWEB being used for load support What is the GEOWEB® system, and how does it work for road construction?

The GEOWEB system consists of interconnected 3D cells that stabilize soils. This network confines and retains the fill material, distributing loads more evenly and reducing stress on underlying soils. Using the GEOWEB system, you can effectively transform less stable soils into a robust base for roadways, reducing the need for high-quality imported materials.

How does geocell confinement technology provided by the GEOWEB system allow the use of on-site materials for road construction?

GEOWEB Geocells, distribute loads across a larger area, reducing the pressure on any single point of the underlying soil. This feature allows for on-site materials that might otherwise be unsuitable for construction due to their lower load-bearing capacity. Essentially, the GEOWEB system stabilizes these materials to meet the structural demands of the project.

What is the step-by-step construction process of using on-site material and GEOWEB for road construction?

Constructing a road using the GEOWEB system with on-site materials follows a straightforward series of key steps to ensure stability and durability. Here’s a simplified outline of the process:

Project Evaluation:
A full project evaluation including written summary, drawings, calculations and specifications should be prepared by Presto. The evaluation is free of charge and will provide the necessary cross section based on specific site conditions.

Site Assessment and Preparation:
Evaluate the on-site materials to determine their suitability. This may involve testing soil composition and moisture content. The site is then cleared and leveled to create a stable working surface.

Laying the GEOWEB System Panels:
Deploy the GEOWEB system panels across the prepared subgrade. The panels should be expanded and connected along any seams using ATRA® connection keys, ensuring they form a continuous layer without gaps before filling.

Filling the Cells:
Fill the GEOWEB cells with the assessed on-site material. It's important to distribute the material evenly to avoid uneven load distributions. Compaction equipment may be used to compact the fill material within each cell, enhancing the structural integrity of the confined soil. Vibratory compaction should be limited.

Finishing the Surface:
Once the desired number of layers is achieved, the surface add wear layer of material can be added. Depending on the project specifications, this might be a finer-grade material.

Quality Assurance and Control:
Throughout the installation, regular quality checks are essential to ensure that the fill material is properly confined and the GEOWEB panels are intact and well-connected.

Final Inspection and Road Opening:
After construction, a final inspection should ensure all elements meet the project’s technical and safety standards before the road is opened for traffic.

GEOWEB being used for load support What are the environmental benefits of using the GEOWEB system with on-site materials?

Utilizing on-site materials reduces the environmental impact associated with producing and transporting fill from other locations, which can significantly lower carbon emissions and construction costs. Additionally, the GEOWEB system supports sustainable practices by allowing the use of recycled materials and reducing the overall use of non-renewable resources. This approach not only preserves natural habitats but also promotes ecological balance.

What limitations should I consider when using on-site material for my GEOWEB road?

While the GEOWEB system offers flexibility in using on-site materials, it’s important to be aware of a few practical considerations. Firstly, the suitability of on-site soil or fill material is crucial; not all soil types are ideal, particularly those with excessive fines content or (>15%) moisture levels. Such materials might not provide the necessary stability or could require pretreatment before use. Environmental regulations may also restrict the use of certain on-site materials, particularly in sensitive ecosystems or areas with specific land-use policies.

GEOWEB being used for load support Can GEOWEB Geocells be used for applications other than roads?

Yes, the versatility of the GEOWEB system extends beyond road construction. It is also effective for creating retaining walls, slope erosion control, and stabilizing areas such as shorelines and channels. This wide range of applications highlights the system's adaptability to environmental and geological conditions.

What cost benefits does the GEOWEB system offer for road construction projects?

The GEOWEB system reduces the need for high-quality base materials and cuts overall material requirements by up to 50%.  It also contributes to lower long-term maintenance costs by preventing issues like rutting and degradation under load, resulting in a more durable roadway with fewer repairs and reduced life-cycle costs.


The GEOWEB system revolutionizes road construction by utilizing on-site materials within a robust cellular framework. This approach reduces stress on the underlying soil and allows the use of lower-quality fill, while also cutting down on emissions and promoting the use of recycled materials. Although there are considerations such as material suitability and regulatory compliance, the GEOWEB system's versatility in road construction and other applications like erosion control and shoreline protection offer significant cost savings and sustainability benefits. Considering the GEOWEB system for your next project? Connect with our GEO Pros to evaluate the suitability of your on-site materials. Our experts will guide you through the process, ensuring you leverage the full potential of the GEOWEB system to achieve efficient, sustainable construction outcomes. Contact us today and take a step towards smarter, sustainable building!

Sick of Long Project Timelines for Load Support Applications?

Traditional load support systems often require expensive imported fill materials and lengthy construction times, leading to high costs and strains on your projects. The GEOWEB Soil Stabilization System offers a sustainable solution for your load support needs. Save on material costs and reduce your carbon footprint using existing on-site materials. Request a free project evaluation today!

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