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Influence of backfill type on the load-bearing performance of GRS bridge abutments

K. Hatami, J. Boutin
Published: 27 October 2021

Abstract: The influence of backfill type and material properties on the performance of field-scale GRS abutment models is investigated. Two alternative types of backfill as recommended in the FHWA guidelines (called open graded and well graded) were used to build two field-scale model abutments and compare their load-bearing performance under a loading beam. Results are presented and discussed relative to the loading beam settlement, facing deformation and reinforcement strains. The well-graded backfill was found to result in smaller beam settlements and facing lateral deformations, especially at smaller loads that were comparable to service load levels. However, it was significantly faster and easier to compact the open-graded aggregate to the unit weight recommended in the guidelines. Nevertheless, performances of both abutment models were found to be satisfactory relative to the limiting requirements on the beam settlement and facing deformations at service load levels.
Keywords: load / abutments / build / backfill / abutment models / GRS / smaller / graded / beam

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