Lateral Pile Resistance Behind MSE Wall Abutments -and- Steel Corrosion in Slag Fill

Abutment piles are frequently surrounded by mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls rather than a soil slope. Limited testing indicates that piles close to MSE walls will provide significantly less lateral resistance. In addition, lateral pile loading can cause pullout of MSE reinforcement and distortion of the MSE wall facing. There are presently no methods available to predict the reduction in pile resistance or the increase in force on the walls for these conditions. In addition, little guidance is available regarding the spacing behind the wall necessary to eliminate these effects. Objectives of the study include (1) Determine reduced lateral pile resistance vs. distance behind MSE wall from full-scale testing; (2) Determine increase in wall force due to lateral load on the pile; (3) Develop p-multiplier vs. distance relationships to account for reduced pile resistance in LPILE; and (4) Develop equations to predict increased force on MSE reinforcement due to lateral pile loading. Tasks of the study include (1) Conduct lateral load tests at three bridge sites with piles at variable spacings behind the MSE walls; (2) Develop relationships showing reduction in lateral resistance versus spacing behind wall; (3) Develop relationships showing increase in lateral force on MSE wall panel versus spacing behind wall; (4) Supplement field test results with calibrated results from finite element method (FEM) analysis; (5) Calibrate p-multipliers in LPILE to account for reduced resistance versus spacing; and (6) Prepare the final report. A secondary scope on this contract includes evaluation of steel pipe piles extracted from abutment slag fill from an old bridge, to examine the apparent corrosion rate applicable in these conditions. A technical memorandum summarizing findings from this secondary scope will be prepared and shared with UDOT and interested consultants/contractors.


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    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Utah Department of Transportation

      4501 South 2700 West
      Project Development
      Salt Lake City, UT  USA  84114-8380
    • Project Managers:

      Stevens, David

    • Performing Organizations:

      Brigham Young University

      Provo, UT  USA  84602-4081
    • Principal Investigators:

      Rollins, Kyle

    • Start Date: 20090701
    • Actual Completion Date: 20130301
    • Source Data: RiP Project 28249

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01474225
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Utah Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: 10-9127, UT09.705
    • Files: RiP
    • Created Date: Mar 1 2013 1:03AM