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Experimental study of a geosynthetic-reinforced soil bridge abutment

P. Jelušič, B. Žlender
Published: 1 October 2021

Abstract: The article presents an experimental study of a geosynthetic-reinforced soil bridge abutment. The geosynthetic reinforced soil bridge abutments are seated on a saturated soft foundation layer and support a 16-m-long concrete bridge. Laboratory tests were conducted on the foundation soil, geogrid and fill material. The bridge abutment is constructed from fourteen geogrids and has a total height of 4.2 m. The strain values in the geogrids were measured and recorded during the construction of the abutments and after installation of the bridge structure. The test results show that more than 50% of the total strain in the geogrids was developed during the construction of the bridge abutments, mostly embedded in the ground. The rest of the measured strain was a consequence of installing the prefabricated bridge girders, back fill placement, concreting the top slab and placing the asphalt concrete. The strain distribution along the geogrids shows that the maximum strain was recorded below the sill, which is 50% more than at the center of the bridge abutment. Based on an analysis of the construction costs, it can be concluded that conventional reinforced concrete abutments could cost up to five times the amount of optimal designed GRS bridge abutments.
Keywords: abutments / bridge abutment / optimal / concrete / reinforced / soil / Experimental / geosynthetic / structure / geogrids

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