Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering


The bump at the end of the bridge has long plagued motorists, designers, and maintenance personnel. The bump develops from the differential movements of the approach road and the bridge abutment. This movement produces discomfort to motorists, increased damage to vehicles, traffic hazards, and increased maintenance costs. The damage done by the movement of these systems can literally impair the structural integrity of the bridge in extreme cases. This problem is experienced in all states and is a recurring problem for transportation officials in the state of South Dakota. In integral abutment systems, abutment wall movement due to temperature cycles has been identified as a leading cause of movement in backfill materials. Based on field and model studies of the occurrence of voids under approach slabs, the South Dakota Department of Transportation has implemented the use of a geotextile reinforced soil wall for integral abutment bridge end treatment to provide a gap into which the abutment wall can cycle without disturbing the backfill. The effectiveness of this design and the development of alternative backfill designs through model studies was investigated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bridge approaches -- South Dakota -- Design and construction Bridges -- Abutments



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University