The goal of this project was to determine the magnitude and distribution of passive earth pressures behind rigid, concrete abutments used for integral highway bridges. The project was accomplished by conducting experiments using a prototype-scale bridge abutment. Tests were performed by passive loading after placing backfill behind the abutment. Results of a literature review and initial design of the test wall obtained during Year 1 were previously summarized in Report ISA #6916, Task Order #6. During Year 2, a detailed analysis of factors affecting earth pressure measurement and subsequent earth pressure cell calibration was conducted, the earth pressure cells were calibrated, the prototype-scale abutment was constructed and fitted with all the required instrumentation, and the first series of tests was performed. Results of passive loading tests for a shallow foundation were previously presented in Report ISA #6916, Task Order #7323. This report covers all work completed since the culmination of the Year 2 review along with the findings of the project. During Year 3, passive abutment testing with abutment supported by a deep foundation system was completed. All results were then interpreted to obtain a better understanding of lateral earth pressure distributions for abutments on different foundations, with different wingwall geometries, and for different backfill material. The findings of this report indicate that lateral earth pressures behind integral bridge abutments can be modeled using equations developed based on the results from the passive testing of the prototype abutment.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Transportation Center, 130 Natural Resources Road
    Amherst, MA  United States  01003

    Massachusetts Highway Department

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116-3973

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Thomson, T A
    • Lutenegger, A J
  • Publication Date: 1998-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 154 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00780268
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTC-97-16,, Final Research Report
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 15 1999 12:00AM