The article by Michael Adams in the April/May 2008 issue of Geosynthetics, “The GRS bridges of Defiance County,” discusses an “easy as 1-2-3” solution for simple bridge construction. The FHWA integrated bridge system design is straightforward and cost-effective. However, the simplicity of the design disguises some bold innovations.
Since their introduction, geosynthetics have generated many debates between geotechnical engineers and structural engineers. Like the Irish, engineers tend to think that there is no worthier adversary than one of their own. The GRS bridge abutments in Defiance County support the superstructure without a concrete bearing pad, a radical thought in the bridge/ structural engineering community.
I can’t help but smile thinking about Mike Adams opening interdepartmental meetings at the FHWA with a discussion of the Defiance County bridges.
One of the FHWA’s stated goals in the article is to support widespread application of the GRS technology. Much of this technology, particularly as it relates to the concrete footers, has been incorporated into my work with underground stormwater detention systems.
Thanks for keeping me informed.