Broward Blvd Beautification Project, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sept. 1, 2005
Shoring up a sinking road

A storm-drain system built in the 1970s is now under a main lane of a 1990s road expansion, and the road is sinking. URETEK was called in to fix the situation.

Shoring up a sinking road

A storm-drain system built in the 1970s is now under a main lane of a 1990s road expansion, and the road is sinking. URETEK was called in to fix the situation.


Throughout the 1990s, the population of Broward County, Fla., grew faster than the statewide average. Local government agencies kept up with the growth by expanding existing transportation assets to handle the additional population. In Fort Lauderdale, Broward Boulevard, the city’s main east-west thoroughfare, was expanded to six lanes along most of its route from the Atlantic Ocean to I-595.

The problem

The Broward Boulevard expansion of the 1990s placed the northernmost westbound lane directly above the primary east-west concrete storm-drain system. During subsequent road resurfacing operations, sections of the road began to sink. It was discovered, using the Florida DOT’s ground penetrating radar, that the joints of the storm-drain pipe had separated or become misaligned over time. The resulting leaks allowed infiltration of soil into the pipes and massive soil failure to occur beneath the road at fairly regular intervals.

The solution

With funding from the Florida DOT, Broward County was ready to repair the failing road in November 2002. The big question was how to do it. The street is one of the busiest in the city. Excavating 18- to 72-in.-diam. concrete pipes located up to 13 ft below the surface would result in incredible traffic and commercial disruption. The county’s engineering team, working with state contracting, turned to URETEK’s “no-dig” polymer injection process as part of their overall plan to rehabilitate the storm-drain system and make Broward Boulevard safe again.

Once void areas were identified, implementing URETEK’s Deep InjectionTM process involved drilling 5/8-in. holes in a predetermined grid pattern, injecting a hydro-insensitive expanding polymer into the soil at depths ranging from 7 ½ to 14 ft and monitoring at the surface. As the URETEK 486 polymer expanded, it filled the underground voids, densified loose soils and stabilized and sealed the pipe joints. Since URETEK 486 material maintains its strength in wet environments and is structurally sound in both standing and running water, it is ideal for this kind of infrastructure application.


Multiple individual locations were repaired along 3 miles of roadway. These included the primary storm-drain line, junction boxes and laterals. Some of the larger voids were as much as 6 ft on either side of the pipe, and a few of the sites took as long as two days to repair because of the large inflow of both water and silt. As joints were sealed and adjacent soils stabilized and densified, Insituform was then able to safely and effectively reline the entire system from within.

URETEK crews routinely completed one or two locations per day. They worked mostly at night to minimize lane closures and traffic disruption, especially at intersections, where significant disruption was inevitable. The speed and maneuverability of the Deep Injection process allowed URETEK to easily stay ahead of the pipe relining company and work around other roadway and site improvements occurring simultaneously with the polymer injections.

The results

The treatment was so effective and the results so complete that Insituform’s project manager, Tim Hart, said, “This was, without a doubt, the most cost-effective, safe, efficient and long-term solution to a truly massive problem.”

Tim Smith, president of State Contracting, added, “Almost two years after the job’s completion, that entire stretch of Broward Boulevard where URETEK worked is on grade and looks just like the day they finished.”

With the soil stabilized and the voids filled by URETEK‘s Florida team and the pipe relined by Insituform, Broward County was able to safely and successfully complete the improvements to the Broward County StreetScape Project.


When you’re ready to control your soil stabilization, infrastructure rehabilitation and pavement lifting problems with a fast, cost-effective, long-term and environ-mentally safe solution, go to to find your nearest URETEK USA regional representative, or simply call us at 888/287-3835.

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