How it Works

Bridge Abutments


Bridge abutments are critical items of infrastructure and the unique strength and load distribution capabilities of Reinforced Earth® make it ideally suited for this application.

TerraClass® Bridge Abutment




False Abutment


A ‘false abutment’ is a Reinforced Earth® retaining wall giving the appearance that the bridge abutment footing is supported on the reinforced soil volume however all the bridge loading is taken by piles that are incorporated inside the reinforced earth volume. The use of discrete reinforcing strips makes it easy to avoid the piles and forms during construction.

Piled Reinforced Earth® Retaining Wall



True Abutment


A ‘true abutment’ is a Reinforced Earth® retaining wall with a bridge abutment footing bearing directly on top of the reinforced soil volume. The footing is directly supported by the Reinforced Earth® structure below and is not supported on piles or columns. The design considers the heavy concentrated vertical and horizontal loading imposed by the bridge superstructure and traffic loading together with horizontal earth pressures acting behind the abutment footing.

True Reinforced Earth® Bridge Abutment

Reinforced Earth® Bridge Abutment

Soft Foundations


Reinforced Earth® technology and the use of inextensible soil reinforcement makes it possible to construct bridge abutments on softer soils without the need for special foundations or ground improvements.