The use of EPS geofoam behind earth retaining structures, such as bridge abutments, can reduce lateral stresses.
EPS geofoam is manufactured in various unit weights that typically range from about 0.7 to 2.85 pounds per cubic foot (11.2 to 45.7 kilograms per cubic meter). As a result, they impart small dead load or stress to underlying soils, structures and utilities. This is especially advantageous where the existing soils are poorly suited to support additional loading (e.g., compressible clay, peats, etc.). In fact, existing loads can be significantly reduced by excavating and replacing native soils, which commonly weigh about 100 pounds per cubic foot (1,602 kilograms per cubic meter), with EPS geofoam. This can eliminate the need for specialized foundations or site preloading to reduce settlement and improve bearing capacity. The use of EPS geofoam over existing utilities can eliminate the need for utility relocation.