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Back-to-the-future bridge design is tested

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Using a technique based on construction methods developed thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia, U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) researchers have constructed an 1...


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Using a technique based on construction methods developed thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia, U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) researchers have constructed an 18-foot tall bridge pier and two full-scale bridge approachways.

The structures were built using Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) technology, which alternates layers of gravel and thin sheets of polymer plastics. Experts believe GRS will revolutionalize earthwork construction.

The FHWA says the procedure shows “remarkable promise” for modern highway construction and could cost millions less than current methods. n


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