Experimental Validation of Interaction of MSE Abutments with Superstructures under Seismic Loading

In 2013, the Earth Retaining Systems, Substructures, Loads, and General Earthquake Committees issued a joint position on Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Abutments. In that paper, MSE technology was approved for limited use with a traditional abutment or piles. A non-traditional design was not approved pending further research on the seismic performance of MSE bridge abutments which allegedly can be constructed quicker that traditional abutments. This non-traditional design was initially investigated under Task #2493. Task #2539 will continue this investigation in two directions: 1) shake table tests (both longitudinal and transverse directions) of 6 reduced-scale MSE bridge abutment models using a small table (10 × 16 ft.), and 2) three-dimensional (3D) numerical modeling of the seismic performance of these test structures and full-scale MSE abutments.