Loading and Wetting-Induced Settlement of Bridge Approach Embankment Materials

It has long been recognized that the "bump at the end of the bridge" problem results from differential settlement between the abutment and the adjacent approach embankment. It is commonly assumed that settlement of the approach embankment is caused exclusively from strains and settlements that occur with the native ground underlying the approach embankment. However, research has shown that significant settlements can also result from long-term loading-induced settlement and/or wetting-induced settlement of the embankment material. In this project, both small and large-scale laboratory one-dimensional loading and wetting-induced settlement tests will be performed on ten selected embankment materials. Results from these tests will be analyzed, and those materials which have significant potential for loading or wetting-induced settlement will be identified. Based on results these tests, recommended revisions to UDOT's current specifications for bridge approach embankments will be provided. In addition, results from small and large-scale tests on nominally identical materials and compaction conditions will be compared to determine the accuracy of small-scale laboratory tests can provide accurate estimates of loading and wetting-induced stress-strain relationships of embankment materials. Valuable information will be provided for all state DOTs regarding the types of embankment materials that are susceptible to significant loading and wetting-induced settlements.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $90001
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    University of Utah
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Lawton, Evert

  • Start Date: 20200218
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-607

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01731455
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 20 2020 10:10AM