Question: Would you please provide us with information on soil cement? Specifically, we are looking for product information and how it is purchased--by ton, weight, truck load? We also need pricing information.

Answer: Soil cement is created by mixing portland cement into soil as a method of stabilizing it for a variety of applications. It can be used as trench backfill, as a foundation, as base material, or even as a roadway. It's frequently used to improve a road base that is rutting badly under the wheel loads of heavy trucks or that doesn't hold up under a proof test.

For paving and base applications, the process often is priced per square yard treated to a certain depth. For trench backfill, it probably would be based on cubic yards and the required strength, which may include both a minimum and a maximum. In either case, the pricing will vary by location. There's a good article covering the subject on the Web site of our sister publication Public Works magazine at

As far as purchasing goes, it's not like crushed stone that's hauled in and then put into place. Installing soil cement typically consists of mixing the cement into the soil you want to stabilize right there onsite. So what you're really looking for is a sitework or paving contractor's bid that would primarily include labor and equipment. The bid price also may also include the material (portland cement, or lime, is one possible alternate) or the material may be provided by the owner and just processed by the contractor.

Assuming that you are looking into this for a particular project, my suggestion is to first develop some engineering plans and specifications, either in-house or through an experienced consultant. Then you'll better know how to request bids on the work.