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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-20-040    Date:  May 2020
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-20-040
Date: May 2020


Instrumentation and 5-Year Performance Monitoring of A GRS-IBS in St. Lawrence County, NY

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This report summarizes the instrumentation and monitoring program for a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil—Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) project constructed under FHWA's Every Day Counts program. This instrumentation and monitoring were undertaken to better understand the substructure—superstructure interaction of the bridge. The GRS-IBS in St. Lawrence County, NY was chosen for long-term monitoring because its span length, skew, and superelevation were relatively unique at the time.

In addition to presenting the performance results of the instrumentation, this report highlights many of the basic steps necessary to successfully monitor bridge performance with a remote data-acquisition system (RDAS). Information about the instrumentation, testing requirements and logistics, installation procedures, RDAS setup, and general lessons learned from this GRS IBS project is included.

This report will be useful to bridge designers interested in learning more about the performance and substructure—superstructure interaction of this type of bridge system and to practitioners and researchers using RDASs for geotechnical applications.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

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.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Instrumentation and 5-Year Performance Monitoring of a GRS IBS in St. Lawrence County, NY

5. Report Date

May 2020

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Jennifer Nicks (ORCID: 0000-0001-7230-3578), Michael Adams, Tom Stabile, and Jan Li

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Technical Report; 2013–2018

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer's Representative was Michael Adams. The lab support contractors (Tom Stabile and Jan Li) were under DTFH61-12-D-00008-T-13006.

16. Abstract

One of the first Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil—Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) projects to be instrumented and evaluated under the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Every Day Counts program was a replacement bridge along County Road 47 over Trout Brook in the town of Stockholm within St. Lawrence County, NY. This GRS-IBS is aligned on a 30-degree skew with a 3.65-percent superelevation and a 0.5-percent grade. The new superstructure consists of 105-ft steel multigirders and prefabricated-concrete deck panels. The heights of the north and south geosynthetic—reinforced soil abutments were 11.0 and 11.6 ft, respectively. To evaluate the performance of this bridge, FHWA instrumented and monitored the bridge for over 5 years. This report details the results of the instrumentation installation and findings from this bridge evaluation. Overall, performance has been excellent, well within the expectations based on previous structures. Key results include measured vertical and lateral earth pressures, lateral deformations at the face and behind the backwall of the superstructure, and vertical and differential settlements.

17. Key Words

Geosynthetic reinforced soil, integrated bridge system, abutment, remote data-acquisition system, pressure cell, in-place inclinometer, performance monitoring, differential settlement, earth pressures, lateral deformation

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101