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FHWA’s Innovator newsletter highlights geosynthetic reinforced soil bridge building

Editorial | October 23, 2014 | By:

Expanding the use of GRS–IBS

Eight innovations are new to Every Day Counts, but three are carried over from earlier rounds of the FHWA initiative because the need to expand their implementation continues. They include … geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems (GRS-IBS). Geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems use alternating layers of compacted granular fill and sheets of geotextile reinforcement to provide bridge support. Not only is GRS-IBS quick and easy to build with common equipment and materials, it is 25-60% more cost-effective than conventional construction.

-Every Day Counts Round 3: “The next wave of transportation innovations is here”

Showcase in Oklahoma

An Every Day Counts showcase on geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems drew more than 100 transportation professionals to Kay County, Okla., to see the time- and money-saving technology in action.

The Kaw Nation and Kay County used GRS-IBS on four of seven bridges they replaced over Dry Creek in Blackwell. Showcase participants-from tribal nations, state and county governments, federal agencies, and universities-learned about the technology and the bridge project in a classroom session before visiting a worksite to observe GRS-IBS construction.

The showcase was useful not only because of the technology demonstrated, said Jim Self, manager of the Southern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program Center at Oklahoma State University, but also because of the partnerships created among the tribes, Kay County, and state and federal agencies.

“It’s bringing something to Oklahoma that helps us out because of the low cost of this replacement technology for bridges,” he said. “[We hope to] do some more of these.” -GRS-IBS Showcase: “Shows how it’s done”

Source: FHWA Innovator (September/October 2014)

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