Advancing Implementation of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge Systems

Project status


Start date: 02/01/14
End date: 10/30/17


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigator:

About the research

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed and promoted geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS) technology to deliver accelerated bridge construction economically, primarily for relatively small bridges. The technology harnesses the stiffness of GRS to eliminate the need for piling or other conventional foundation systems. Eliminating piling typically results in cost and schedule benefits.

Despite the cost and time savings and performance benefits associated with GRS-IBS technology, it has not experienced widespread implementation. Use of the technology is likely becoming more common and widespread, particularly with several agencies deploying GRS-IBS on numerous occasions. However, other agencies have likely not implemented GRS-IBS because of a lack of familiarity with the technology and its implementation benefits.

To help overcome this lack of familiarity, the research team documented recent implementations focusing on technical performance and practical lessons from agency experiences in contracting and constructing these types of bridges. These GRS-IBS experiences were culled from a literature review, interviews with agency and contractor personnel, and the research team’s experience with construction and performance observations of the Rustic Road GRS-IBS project in Boone County, Missouri.

The final report, tech transfer summary, and implementation aid that were developed as a result of this work are for two Midwest Transportation Center research projects: Advancing Implementation of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge Systems (GRS-IBS) and Implementation Evaluation of the Rustic Road Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System.


Report: Advancing Implementation of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge Systems (8.15 mb pdf) October 2017

Related publications:



  • Midwest Transportation Center
  • University of Missouri - Columbia