I-82 Prosser Landslide Investigation Benton City, WA
The scope of this technical report is to establish the mechanisms by which the eastbound lanes of Interstate 82 at mile post (MP) 91.9 near Benton City continue to deform. Within the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the area is known as the Prosser Landslide and has been an ongoing concern since the 1980s. Results from previous technical investigations have been conflicted or inconclusive as to whether landslide movement persists beneath or through the shear key-buttress or that pavement distress is related to swelling of a clay-rich unit that underlies the slope and interstate. For this report, the following steps were taken. First, I conducted a desk review of archived reports, memos, data, and drill logs from the original construction of I-82 and previous geotechnical investigations commissioned by WSDOT. Findings of this desk review are reported in Part III. Second, WSDOT drillers drilled two new boreholes at the Prosser Landslide site above the buttress and instrumentation was installed within the boreholes. Borehole logs produced from the 2013 drilling can be found in Appendix A of this report. Material retrieved from the suspected failure zone during drilling was tested at the WSDOT Materials Lab by WSDOT personnel for its mechanical properties including Atterberg limits, grain-size analysis, and residual shear strength (Appendix B). Samples were also analyzed for mineral content using X -ray powder diffraction (XRD). These data and observations are reported in Part III and Appendix C. Finally, using drill logs produced by WSDOT from the latest drilling and from historic drilling campaigns, I constructed a 2-D geologic model of the landslide site. This model is the basis for slope stability analysis reported in Part IV and Appendix D. This study concludes that the deformation observed in the eastbound lanes of I-82 could be the result of continued landslide movement, despite previous remediation efforts.