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Abutment Interface Experiments for Integrated Approaches

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Monday, January 7, 2013
End Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
TRT Terms: 
Construction; Infrastructure; Bridges; Research; Transportation; State of the Art; Innovation; Bridge Abutments
FHWA Discipline: 
Geotechnical, Structures
Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Geotechnology, Research

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3075
Email Address: 
Bridge Engineering Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

The in-service performance of many bridges built on the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Integrated Bridge System (IBS) indicate the superstructure and approach fill coexist to maintain a smooth, bump-free transition without the need to include a traditional approach slab or special pavement system. This project will investigate the interaction between the end of different super-substructure combinations and a GRS integrated approach. The project will involve a series of laboratory experiments and computer modeling to simulate thermal bridge cycles and measure the resulting passive earth pressure against the GRS integrated approach in an attempt to understand the interaction with the integrated approach that can be applied to the IBS and other systems.


The key project objectives are:  

(1) Define the mechanics of passive earth pressure against a geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) integrated approach.

(2) Define the interaction between the superstructure and abutment.

(3) Determine how the thermally induced force from the approach backfill affects the superstructure.

(4) Develop a computer model to simulate the GRS integrated approach for different bridge configurations

(5) Apply the results of this work to the design of bridges with various abutment types (e.g. GRS, integral, etc.).