I am an engineering geologist consulting as an interpreter between a civil engineer and an earthwork contractor. The engineer has specified that structural fill for roadways and under foundation footings cannot have more than 10% fines (passing the #200 sieve). The earthwork contractor would like to reuse site soils with a bit higher fines content (sound familiar?) Can someone explain where this value of 10% comes from? I understand the effects of moisture and frost on the fine component of soil, but the 10% seems to be written in stone. Why?
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