Long-Term Monitoring of a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS)

The proposed project will perform structural health monitoring of a constructed Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) in Delaware (DE). The GRS-IBS structure that will be monitored was previously constructed as a replacement for an existing bridge (Br. 1-366) in New Castle County, DE, on Chesapeake City Road over Guthrie Run, which was nearing the end of its design life. The new GRS-IBS construction had the same general footprint area as the previous bridge, carrying two lanes of traffic. Many of the dimensions of the constructed GRS-IBS are a product of project geometric requirements. The maximum height of the GRS abutment is approximately 6 m from the bottom of the Reinforced Soil Foundation to the road pavement, the width of the abutment is 14.6 m, and the bridge clear span length between the GRS abutments is 8.7 m. The overall width of the bridge superstructure is 12.2 m, which includes 2 lanes and two shoulders. The total length of the bridge superstructure is 11.3 m, which includes the width of the beam seat area and facing elements from each abutment in addition to the clear span length. This bridge was built with a precast concrete superstructure, and its GRS abutments were constructed using locally available materials (No. 8 stone). The width of the beam seat bearing area on each abutment (1.3 m) was determined using the design procedure that is described in FHWA's Interim Implementation Guide for GRS-IBS technology. 1) The first objective of this project is to perform structural health monitoring of the aforementioned heavily-instrumented GRS-IBS structure for at least one year. This GRS-IBS contains over 100 sensors, including in-place inclinometers, piezometers, pressure cells, strain gauges, thermistors, volumetric water content sensors, and surveying points. Over the duration of this project, frequent data readings will be collected at the project site across all sensors simultaneously, using an automated datalogging system with a relatively high rate of data acquisition. 2) The second objective of this project is to analyze data from the sensors described in Objective 1 to develop an improved understanding of GRS-IBS behavior. To achieve this goal, the data collected in Step 1 will be downloaded, sorted, filtered, and analyzed at frequent intervals to assess the on-going performance of the GRS-IBS. A variety of statistical tools (i.e., large scale correlation analysis, multivariate regression, and perhaps Bayesian updating) will be used to develop and refine appropriate sensor corrections that can be used to account for ambient effects such as changes in the groundwater location or daily/seasonal fluctuations in temperature. 3) The third objective of this project is to couple conventional geotechnical and structural engineering design tools such as limit equilibrium analysis and finite element analysis with the recorded sensor data to improve the design process for GRS-IBS structures. In particular, once the performance data for the structure that is analyzed in Step 2 is well understood, it will be used to calibrate numerical models of in-service GRS-IBS behavior. From there, calibrated models of in-service behavior will be extrapolated to assess a variety of possible failure mechanisms that could be encountered during the life of a conventional GRS-IBS. These analyses will be used to refine and/or validate current GRS-IBS design methodologies, as appropriate.


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  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Szary, Patrick

    Hastings, Jason

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Delaware, Newark

    Department of Civil Engineering
    301 DuPont Hall
    Newark, DE  United States  19716
  • Principal Investigators:

    Meehan, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20150901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01575722
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC28, CAIT-UTC-NC22
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2015 10:17AM