||GRS Bridge Abutments-Phase I: Design Support and Instrumentation
Kevin K. McGhee
Associate Director for Pavements
The Virginia Department of Transportation is interested in using geosynthetic reinforced soil(GRS) for abutment support of bridges. GRS employs closely spaced layers of geosynthetic reinforcement and compacted granular material. It allows quick construction at lower cost and accomodates settlement, as the GRS directly supports the beams. VDOT plans to use GRS abutments when it replaces a bridge in Fairfax County.
Other states have successfully used GRS abutments. NCHRP Report 556 describes their design and construction and recommends monitoring long-term performance. A 2011 FHWA report says load and resistance factor design (LRFD) procedures for GRS were developed to match allowable stress design, but additional data is needed for statistically based LRFD procedures.
Researchers will provide design support, construction observation and instrumentation for VDOT's first GRS abutments; monitor and evaluate their performance; and make recommendations about future GRS bridge abutment use.