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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-12-0004
Project Name:   Abutment Interface Experiments for Integrated Approaches
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  January 7, 2013
End Date:  September 30, 2016
Contact Information
Last Name:  Nicks
First Name:  Jennifer E
Telephone:  202-493-3075
E-mail:  jennifer.nicks@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team [HRDI-40]
Program:   Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Laboratory:   Geotechnical Laboratory
Project detail
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.). 
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   Laboratory experiments, field tests, and computer modeling
Partners:   Federal Highway Administration: Office of Research, Development, and Technology - Office of Infrastructure Research and Development; Role(s): Advisory, Technical
Expected Benefits:   The expected benefit is an increased application of a geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated approach system to improve bridge performance.
Deliverables: 1. Name: Transportation Pooled Fund Research Report
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: A research report will be drafted to outline the results of the field testing and provide design guidance if necessary.
2. Name: Research report
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: A full research report will be developed outlining the entire project, including the results of the Transportation Pooled Fund study, along with laboratory and computer simulation results.
Related URL(s):   http://wwwcf.fhwa.dot.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://www.pooledfund.org/Details/Study/493
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Geotechnical
TRT Terms:   Construction
State of the Art
Bridge Abutments
FHWA Disciplines:   Geotechnical
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures


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