Improving Safety by Eliminating the Bump at End of the Bridge Using Lightweight Backfill and Geosynthetics

Seasonal temperature changes, traffic loading, and compressible foundation can induce bridge abutment movements, which result in differential settlement between bridge and abutment, i.e., bump. Bumps create a hazardous condition for vehicles, which increases motor vehicle fatalities and costs for maintenance and repair. The bump at the end of the bridge is a universe problem for transportation infrastructure around the world including the US. It has caused many motor vehicle fatalities and costed more than 100 million dollars annually to maintain and repair in the US alone. A laboratory study done by this research team has demonstrated the effectiveness of using geogrid reinforcement with geofoam to mitigate the bump problem when the abutment is on a firm foundation. Lightweight backfill is expected to reduce the settlement of bridge abutments on a compressible foundation; therefore, the combination of lightweight backfill with geosynthetics is expected to eliminate the bump even when the abutment is on a compressible foundation. This combined technology needs to be verified by a numerical study and then a field study in the future. The outcome of this project will lead to the development of innovative and sustainable technology for eliminating the bump at the end of the bridge. The successful development of this technology will improve the safety of the bridge approach and the economy of bridge maintenance and repair.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $249490
    • 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:

      Mid-America Transportation Center

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln
      2200 Vine Street, PO Box 830851
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0851
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Kansas, Lawrence

      1530 West 15th Street
      Lawrence, KS  United States  66045
    • Principal Investigators:

      Han, Jie

      Parsons, Robert

    • Start Date: 20230601
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01908384
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348307
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 19 2024 4:04PM