Case Study: Expansive Clay Mitigation

Expansive Clay Mitigation
Starkville, MS

Only 2 years after construction, a Starkville, MS big box store was experiencing widespread heaving in the parking lot and significant cracks to the exterior walls. CCE was hired as the lead professional to investigate the causes of the failure and design a solution. CCE retained the services of a regional geotechnical firm to complete borings of the most damaged areas, finding that the parking lot was underlain by highly expansive clays that lacked a necessary buffer under the parking lot or building pad.

Due to the ongoing maintenance and operational problems the expansive clay had caused to the relatively new store, the client chose to have CCE remove all the pavement from the site, undercutting 3’ of the expansive clay from under the parking lot and 7’ of the clay adjacent to the building walls. CCE also completed all the all the plans, specifications and permitting for the project.


In the project’s biggest challenge, CCE also provided detailed phasing plans that enabled the store’s continued operations throughout demolition and clay removal. By working in one section at a time, CCE minimized and replaced the expansive clay with a non-expansive material that would prevent further heaving — allowing the store to continue functioning as a high-volume retail center throughout the project.