Internal Reinforcement of Backfill behind Bridge Abutments to Mitigate Approach Slab Distresses

When embankments are constructed to approach bridge abutments, an uneven approach slab condition often occurs. This uneven approach slab condition is caused by the differential settlement between the embankment soil and the abutment, and the resulting deformation or fracture of the bridge approach slab. Embankment soil settlement is often induced by thermal expansion/shrinkage of the bridge deck, resulting in movement of the abutment and the embankment soil. Traffic loading on the approach slab also induces settlement of embankment soil. Embankment soil settlement causes the approach slab of the bridge to lose its support from the soil. When the soil support is lost, the slab will bend and even break under the worst case. The loads on the deformed slab will redistribute to its ends, which may result in faulting and bump formation across the roadway at the ends of the approach slab. Such problems have repeatedly occurred in KDOT projects, posed risks to the safety of vehicles and drivers, and required repeated maintenance, repair, and even re-construction. To mitigate the above problems, internal reinforcement is proposed in this research to minimize embankment soil movement behind abutments and under approach slabs. The geosynthetic reinforcement is expected to minimize embankment soil settlement behind the abutment and under the approach slab. The objective of this research is to evaluate the performance of internal reinforcement to mitigate approach slab distresses using large scale model testing in the laboratory.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $73,810
    • Contract Numbers:

      K-TRAN: KU-19-1



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Kansas Department of Transportation

      Eisenhower State Office Building
      700 SW Harrison Street
      Topeka, KS  United States  66603-3754
    • Project Managers:

      Metheny, Luke

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Kansas, Lawrence

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

      Han, Jie

      Parsons, Robert

    • Start Date: 20180701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20210630
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01704511
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Kansas Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: K-TRAN: KU-19-1, RE-0752-01, C2130
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: May 8 2019 12:25PM