Determining optimal designs for geosynthetic-reinforced soil bridge abutments

  • Primož JelušičEmail author
  • Bojan Žlender
Methodologies and Application


The article presents a parametric study of optimal designs for geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) bridge abutments. A mixed integer design optimization model GRS-BA was developed, which is comprised of an accurate objective function of the construction costs. The cost objective function was constrained by a set of geotechnical and design conditions that were in accordance with current practice rules and recommendations. The optimal design recommendation for GRS bridge abutments was developed. A typical example of such an abutment is presented in order to compare design solutions derived from conventional design methods with solutions obtained from the proposed optimal design procedure.


Geosynthetics Bridge abutment Geosynthetic-reinforced soil Computational modeling Numerical analysis Structural optimization 

List of symbols


Width of the abutment


Reinforcement effective unit parameter


Effective width of the applied load at depth z


Unit price of ground excavation


Unit price of the fill soil stabilization


Coefficient for the cost calculation of various strengths of geotextiles


Coefficient for the cost calculation of various strengths of geotextiles


Unit price of the reinforced fill soil


Unit price of the retained fill soil


Unit price of the concrete for the foundation at the base


Unit price of the reinforced concrete for the sill


Unit price of the front batter


Vertical dead load


Clear distance


Minimum safety factor for the sliding failure of the sill


Minimum safety factor for the sliding failure of the reinforced volume


Minimum safety factor against reinforcement pullout


Horizontal load of the bridge


Pullout resistance factor


Height of the front wall


Height of the back wall


Length of the geosynthetic reinforcement


Effective length of the geosynthetic reinforcement


Length of embedment in the resistant zone behind the failure surface at depth z


Width of the foundation at the base


Length of embedment within the influence area inside the resistant zone


Width of the sill foundation


Effective width of the sill foundation


Vertical live load


Number of reinforcement layers in the back wall


Excavation slope of the retained soil


Inclination of the terrain slope


Traffic surcharge


Pullout resistance


Coverage ratio


Reduction factor for the isolated sill


Strength of the geosynthetic reinforcement


Maximum tensile force in the reinforcement at depth z


Minimum required reinforcement stiffness


Thickness of the bridge’s concrete slab


Thickness of the wall


Thickness of the foundation at the base


Thickness of the sill


Scale effect correction factor


Unit weight of the reinforced concrete


Unit weight of the concrete


Unit weight of the retained earth


Unit weight of the fill soil


Friction angle of the foundation soil


Friction angle of retained earth


Friction angle of the fill soil


Spacing between the geosynthetic reinforcement layers


Supplemental horizontal pressure at depth z


Distributed vertical pressure from the sill


Vertical soil pressure at depth z



The authors acknowledge financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency; research core Funding No. P2-0268.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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