3D deformation behavior of geosynthetic-reinforced soil bridge abutments

Wenyong Rong, Yewei Zheng, John S. McCartney, Patrick J. Fox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Although 2-dimensional (2D) design methods have been shown to work well in defining the longitudinal reinforcement layout in geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) bridge abutments, three-dimensional (3D) effects may play a role in the design of the side walls and the associated transverse reinforcement layout. The objective of this study is to understand the deformation behavior of GRS bridge abutments considering 3D boundary effects, using finite difference analyses to simulate the deformation behavior of a hypothetical GRS bridge abutment expected during construction. Soil-concrete and concrete-concrete interactions were simulated using interface elements and soil-geogrid interactions were simulated using geogrid structural elements. Analyses were performed in stages to simulate the abutment construction process with different reinforcement vertical spacing and length. The results presented in this paper provide insight into the lower wall lateral facing displacements in both the longitudinal and the transverse directions, as well as bridge seat settlements at different sections. This information is a useful component in the development of comprehensive design guidance for GRS bridge abutments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
EditorsThomas L. Brandon, Richard J. Valentine
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
EditionGSP 278
ISBN (Electronic)9780784480458
StatePublished - 2017
EventGeotechnical Frontiers 2017 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Mar 12 2017Mar 15 2017

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
NumberGSP 278
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherGeotechnical Frontiers 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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