For soils to be suitable for engineering works, they must meet existing requirements for index properties in addition to certain strength criteria. Typically, specifications limit these properties to some threshold values which in most cases are project specific. The objective of this study is to evaluate properties (such as moisture content, particle size distribution, Atterberg limits, California bearing ratio and compaction characteristics) of soils derived from Ugwu, Orlu borrow pit with a view to providing sufficient data for engineers, planners, designers and contractors who might wish to utilise the materials for diverse construction purposes. Three soil samples were collected and tested. The soil has grain size ranging from 0.075mm to 2.00mm; average natural moisture content of 6.83% and mean plasticity Index of 9.5%. The soil is classified as CL according to USCS classification system since the samples plot slightly above “A” line and within the CL zone in the plasticity chart. The average liquid limit (LL) is 26%. The compaction characteristics shows that the OMC for the three samples ranges from12.3 to 13% and MDD ranges from 1.9 to 1.96 mg/m³. California Bearing Ratio (CBR) values are low ranging from 4.25 to 4.50% for the soaked and 7.13 to 10.29% for the unsoaked; hence cannot withstand excessive loading. Although the soil will not exhibit significant rheological properties, that is swelling up with increase in water content or shrinking with decrease in water content, and this property makes it suitable for engineering works because it will not cause cracking to foundations and structures due to heaving.
Keywords: Construction work, Engineering properties, Geo-materials, Plasticity, Soil
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