The research is an investigation on the possible use of MSE bridge abutments as direct support of bridges on Indiana highways. First, analysis was performed following conventional design methods, in order to assess the performance of MSE bridge abutments with respect to ultimate limit states, i.e. external and internal stability. In the second part of the study, finite element analysis was performed, in order to assess the performance of the structures with respect to serviceability limit states, i.e. immediate and consolidation settlements. In both parts, analysis was performed on case examples that reflect relatively typical situations. The main findings confirm that the currently available methods of design provide the necessary methodology in order to design MSE bridge abutments by satisfying external and internal stability criteria. In terms of deformations, the main findings of the finite element analysis indicate that the fraction of settlements that are caused due to the bridge loads is small compared to the fraction that is caused by the MSE self-weight. Overall, the implementation of the work reported herein, would require a detailed site investigation. Based on these findings and information already available from the literature, it was concluded that the use of MSE walls as direct bridge abutments would be reliable under certain conditions. (Abstract from TRIS Database)

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Retaining walls, retaining structures, bridge abutments, bridge loads, Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE), reinforced soil, settlements, consolidation, limit equilibrium analysis, numerical analysis, finite element method, deformations, SPR-2855

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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