Analysis and Interpretation of Inclinometer and Pressure Cell Data on a Soil-Geofoam Embankment

  • Ali Shafikhani
  • Tejo V. Bheemasetti
  • Anand J. PuppalaEmail author
  • Aritra Banerjee
Conference paper


This paper presents analysis and interpretation of monitored vertical settlements and pressures of a rehabilitated bridge approach slab located in Johnson County, Texas. Four horizontal inclinometer casings and pressure cells (equipped with thermometers) were installed at the test site during the rehabilitation process. In this paper, collected data from the inclinometers, pressure cells, and thermometers were employed in an attempt, to understand the effect of climate changes on the vertical settlements and pressures of the approach slab. It has been observed that with an increase in temperature, the bridge structure enforced the movements of the geofoam blocks causing vertical settlement. Whereas, the bridge structure movements after a temperature decrease, induced vertical swelling at the top of the geofoam blocks. The pressure cells that were installed at the top and bottom of the geofoam embankment revealed that the stresses observed at the top of the geofoam were significantly reduced. Also, the pressure cells installed at the sides of the bridge and geofoam structure to evaluate the lateral pressure response lost contact and provided negative results. The loss of contact can be a response to the movement of the structure with respect to thermal changes in the structure. This research highlights the important observations of a bridge structure and its approach soil-geofoam embankment movements with respect to temperature and precipitation variations.


Climate changes Vertical movements Swelling Settlement 


  1. 1.
    Islam, A.A.: On reducing bumps at pavement-bridge interface. Final report submitted to: YSU Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering (CTME). Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555 (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thiagarajan, G., Gopalaratnam, V., Halmen, C., Ajgaonkar, S., Ma, S., Gudimetla, B., Chamarthi, R.: Bridge Approach Slabs for Missouri DOT: Looking at Alternative and Cost-Efficient Approaches (No. OR 11.009) (2010)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Briaud, J.L., James, R.W., Hoffman, S.B.: Settlement of Bridge Approaches: (The Bump at the End of the Bridge), vol. 234. Transportation Research Board (1997)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nassif, H., Abu-Amra, T., Shah, N.: Finite element modeling of bridge approach and transition slabs (No. FHWA-NJ-2002–007) (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Saride, S., Puppala, A.J., Archeewa, E.: Bridge Approach Settlements—An Issue Due to Design or Construction Practices, pp. 210–214. The University of Texas at Arlington (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hopkins, T.C., Deen, R.C.: The Bump at the End of the Bridge (1969)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yasrobi, S.Y., Ng, K.W., Edgar, T.V., Menghini, M.: Investigation of approach slab settlement for highway infrastructure. Transp. Geotech. 6, 1–15 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Seo, J.B.: The bump at the end of the bridge: an investigation (Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University) (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    White, D.J., Mekkawy, M.M., Sritharan, S., Suleiman, M.T.: “Underlying” causes for settlement of bridge approach pavement systems. J. Perform. Constructed Facil. 21(4), 273–282 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stewart, C.F.: Highway structure approaches. FHWA/CA/SD-85-05, Office of Applied Research, Division of Structures, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento, California (1985)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ruttanaporamakul, P., Puppala, A.J., Pedarla, A., Bheemasetti, T.V., Williammee, R.S.: Settlement Mitigation of a Distressed Embankment in Texas by Utilization of Lightweight EPS Geofoam Material. In: Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting (No. 16-4179) (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Puppala, A.J., Saride, S., Archeewa, E., Nazarian, S., Williammee Jr., R.: Bridge approach settlements: lessons learned from present case studies and ground improvement solutions. In: Ground Improvement and Geosynthetics, pp. 228–238 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bhaskar, C.S., Saride, S., Puppala, A.J.: Superstructure Design, vol. 647 (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tadros, M.K., Benak, J.V.: Bridge abutment and approach slab settlement: Phase 1. Nebraska Department of Roads (1989)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wahls, H.E.: Design and construction of bridge approaches, vol. 159. Transportation Research Board (1990)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mahmood, I.U.: Evaluation of causes of bridge approach settlement and development of settlement prediction models (Doctoral dissertation, University of Oklahoma) (1990)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kramer, S.L., Sajer, P.: Bridge Approach Slab Effectiveness. Final Report (No. WA-RD 227.1) (1991)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Puppala, A.J., Saride, S., Archeewa, E., Hoyos, L.R., Nazarian, S.: Recommendations for design, construction, and maintenance of bridge approach slabs: Synthesis report. Report No. FHWA/TX-09/6022, 1 (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chen, Y.T., Chai, Y.H.: Experimental study on the performance of approach slabs under deteriorating soil washout conditions. J. Bridge Eng. 16(5), 624–632 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dupont, B., Allen, D.: Movements and Settlements of Highway Bridge Approaches (No. KTC-02-18/SPR-220-00-1F) (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Abu-Hejleh, N., Hanneman, D., White, D.J., Wang, T., Ksouri, I.: Flowfill and MSE Bridge Approaches: Performance, Coast, and Recommendations for Improvements (No. CDOT-DTD-R-2006-2). Colorado Department of Transportation, Research Branch (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hsi, J.: Bridge approach embankments supported on concrete injected columns. In: Geo-Congress 2008: Geo-sustainability and Geohazard Mitigation, pp. 612–619 (2008)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Arsoy, S., Barker, R.M., Duncan, J.M.: The behavior of integral abutment bridges, vol. 3, p. 13. Virginia Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville, VA (1999)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Puppala, A.J., Archeewa, E., Saride, S., Nazarian, S., Hoyos, L.: Recommendations for design, construction, and maintenance of bridge approach slabs (No. FHWA/TX-11/0-6022-2) (2012)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Seo, J., Ha, H., Briaud, J.L.: Investigation of settlement at bridge approach slab expansion joint: Numerical simulations and model tests (No. FHWA/TX-03/0-4147-2) (2002)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rodriguez, L.E.: Temperature effects on integral abutment bridges for the long-term bridge performance program. Utah State University (2012)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    White, H.: Integral abutment bridges: Comparison of current practice between European countries and the United States of America. Transportation Research and Development Bureau, New York State Department of Transportation (2007)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Onsa, E.H., Ahmed, A.A.: Effect of temperature variation and type of embankment soil on integral abutment bridges in Sudan. J. Civ. Environ. Eng. (2015)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shafikhani, A., Bheemasetti, T.V., Puppala, A.J.: Effect of seasonal changes on a hybrid soil-geofoam embankment system. Int. J. Geosynthetics Ground Eng. 3(4), 39 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Shafikhani
    • 1
  • Tejo V. Bheemasetti
    • 1
  • Anand J. Puppala
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aritra Banerjee
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations