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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-066
Date: August 2013
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The use of geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) for load bearing applications such as bridge abutments and integrated bridge systems (IBS) has expanded among transportation agencies looking to save time and money while delivering a better and safe product to the traveling public. GRS has been identified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a proven, market-ready technology, and is being actively promoted through its Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative. FHWA interim design guidance for GRS abutments and IBSs is presented in Publication No. FHWA-HRT-11-026. The guidance includes the procedure and use of the GRS performance tests, also termed a mini-pier experiment. This report presents a database of nineteen performance tests performed by the FHWA, largely at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. It also presents findings, conclusions, and suggestions regarding various design parameters related to the performance of GRS, such as backfill material, reinforcement strength, reinforcement spacing, facing confinement, secondary reinforcement, and compaction.
A reliability analysis for load and resistance factor design (LRFD) was performed based on the results of this performance testing to determine a calibrated resistance factor for the soil-geosynthetic capacity equation. The results of this analysis can also be used by bridge designers to estimate capacity and deformation of GRS. In addition, an insight into the behavior of GRS as a new composite material due to the close reinforcement spacing is described.
Jorge E. Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.
The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.
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Topics: research, infrastructure, structures
Keywords: research, structures. Geosynthetic reinforced soil, performance test, mini-pier experiment, abutment, integrated bridge system, geotextile, capacity, deformation
TRT Terms: research, infrastructure, Facilities, Structures