<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=1046178&amp;fmt=gif">
More Info

A Costly Mistake: Price vs. Performance

by John Bolton, on Jun 13, 2023 2:06:05 PM

“How much does it cost?” is usually the first question a procurement manager asks when selecting materials for a construction project. Price undoubtedly drives the bottom line, but what might seem like the cheapest option at first could cost more to install. In addition, the cheapest option could have the poorest performance, which requires additional maintenance costs in the future.

Soil stabilization is one area where a more expensive, yet higher-performing solution can offer significant overall cost savings and higher productivity compared to a cheaper one. Geogrid is a proven soil stabilization solution that reduces the amount of structural fill required for strengthening weak soils compared to over-excavation. Geogrids have open apertures, which allow the structural fill to strikethrough, confine and interlock as a stiffened composite bridge lift over weak subgrades. Geogrids can improve the long-term performance of paved and unpaved roadways by minimizing aggregate movement and maintaining modulus values. However, not all geogrids are created equal.

Extensive research and decades of in-ground performance have allowed Tensar to evolve its first-generation biaxial geogrid into TriAx and most recently, InterAx. InterAx geogrid is the highest-performing geogrid for trafficked surfaces due to its optimized geometry and advanced material science. This means that the amount of aggregate required to get the same performance can be reduced even further when InterAx geogrid is incorporated into the design.


BX grid

Biaxial (BX) geogrid
Lowest Performance

TX grid

TriAx (TX) geogrid


NX grid

InterAx (NX) geogrid
Highest Performance


Proven Savings: CHPE Site Solution

The Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a current Kiewit project in Whitehall, NY that is able to take advantage of a value-engineered design using Tensar InterAx (NX) geogrid. Design options for the access roads and working surfaces were created using Tensar+ software that compared the amount of aggregate required for different types of geogrid. In one case that was analyzed, a CBR of 1 was assumed.

Grid comparison

As seen in the results from Tensar+ design software above, the highest performing geogrid, InterAx NX850, reduced the required bridge lift thickness by an additional 9 inches compared to the Biaxial geogrid design and offers a 44% cost savings. Reducing the section thickness also saves on haul-off costs and labor costs due to less earthwork and increased productivity. Even further, the access roads are designed to perform well into the future which means minimized downtime for maintenance of the working surfaces and higher overall production for the operation.

NX_PP_NY_CHPEChamplainHudsonPowerExpress Download the profile here for more details on this project. 



Even though procurement intuition may favor the selection of the product with the cheapest price tag, it’s important to dig deeper to uncover the total costs tied to the lower performing geogrid. Otherwise, you could be making an expensive mistake.

If you would like to compare costs for various geogrid designs, then contact me, John Bolton, your Tensar account manager. I will be happy to review your project and ensure you get the best design for your budget.

About the Tensar Blog

Tensar invests heavily in research and development. This endeavor leads to new findings, new products and new resources that we often share via our blog.

You can easily find an article of interest by date or topic by selecting one of the following:

Are you ready to build better?

Get started today by subscribing to stay current on all things geogrid.