ICE Technical Meeting 9th August 2018

Load Bearing Bridge Abutments Supported on Polymer Geogrid Reinforced Fill

The use of polymer geogrids to reinforce fills for the construction of retaining walls and steepened slopes has become common-place, and may be found in many public works projects, as well as private developments. The use of these techniques to construct bridge abutments, in which the dead loads and live loads from the bridge are transmitted through the reinforced fill mass to the supporting foundation soils, is less common. However it is not new, and such techniques were first being used more than 30 years ago. In some regions, such as UK and USA, there has been a recent acceleration in their use, in particular with integral abutments, taking advantage of the resulting reduction in construction cost. These facts were highlighted during a recent IGS Workshop held in Munich, where a half-day session was dedicated to providing information and a discussion forum about this form of structure. This presentation will provide some of this historical data, and then look in detail at some of the important issues, illustrating them with actual examples. A few words about durability will be included, being especially important where the polymer reinforcement is providing such a critical function, as well as SLS checks. Special attention will be given to the seismic design case, for which the performance of reinforced soil structures has been examined using shaking table tests. Two specific tests carried out by UCSD (University of California San Diego) will be described, one being a 6m full height retaining wall, the other a half-scale load bearing bridge abutment. Both tests illustrate the excellent performance of this form of structure under extreme seismic loading, which can be largely attributed to the ductility of such a system.

  • Speaker: Mike Dobie;
  • Place: Eastern Promise Pub & Restaurant, Jalan Kemang Raya No 5, Kemang, Jakarta Selatan;
  • Date: Tuesday 9th August 2018;
  • Time: 6.30pm.