Home Skip to main content

Project Details

Title:Mitigation of Differential Settlement at Highway Bridge Approaches
Principal Investigators:Steven F. Bartlett
University:University of Utah
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-586
RiP #:01691231
RH Display ID:15275
Keywords:bridge approaches, geotechnical engineering, highway bridges, safety, settlement (structures), state departments of transportation


Differential settlement in the transition zone between the bridge structure and the approach embankment often creates a "bump" which is a potential safety hazard and comfort issue for drivers. Studies conducted by DOTs around the country suggest that about 25 percent of the 600,000 bridges in the US are affected by bridge approach settlement or the "bump at the end of the bridge." The settlements can result in unsafe driving conditions, rider discomfort, structural deterioration of bridges and long-term maintenance costs. Identifying additional geotechnical or structural means to mitigate this issue, which might be employed in conjunction with preloading, is of benefit to many State DOTs. These benefits might be achieved by providing the project team with the advantages and detriments of supplemental options in terms of their efficacy, cost, schedule, and ease-of-construction. This research focuses on identifying innovative means to mitigate this issue during design and construction, whether through initial cost savings or by providing superior long-term performance, will provide value. This might be gained either through savings from initial capital investment or through life-cycle cost reductions, hence assisting in the preservation of key infrastructure.

Project Word Files

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050