Embankment (transportation)

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A diagram showing an embankment
West Somerset Mineral Railway embankment near Gupworthy, UK

A road, railway line or canal is normally raised onto an embankment made of earth to avoid a change in level required by the terrain, the alternatives being either to have an unacceptable change in level or detour to follow a contour. A cutting is used for the same purpose where the land is originally higher than required.


Embankments are often constructed using material obtained from a cutting. Embankments should be constructed using suitable materials to provide adequate support to the formation and long-term stability.

Notable embankments[edit]

  • Chelsea Embankment a path and roadway in London also serves to contain the River Thames
  • Harsimus Stem Embankment remains of a railway built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Federal Highway Administration Design Manual: Deep Mixing for Embankment and Foundation Support Federal Highway Administration