Abutment piles in soft ground may be subjected to both vertical and horizontal soil movements resulting from approach embankment loads. To constrain the soil movements, the soft soil ground beneath the approach embankment is often improved using composite pile foundations, which aim at mitigating the bump induced by high-speed trains passing through the bridge. So far, there is limited literature on exploring the influence of the degree of ground improvement on abutment piles installed in soft soil grounds. In this paper, a series of three-dimensional (3D) centrifuge model tests was performed on an approach embankment over a silty clay deposit improved by cement-fly ash-gravel (CFG) piles combined with geogrid. Emphasis is placed on the effects of ground replacement ratio (m) on the responses of the abutment piles induced by embankment loads. Meanwhile, a numerical study was conducted with varying ground replacement ratio of the pile-reinforced grounds. Results show that the performance of the abutment piles is significantly improved when reinforcing the ground with CFG piles beneath the approach embankment. Interestingly, there is a threshold value of the replacement ratio of around 4.9% above which the effect of CFG pile foundations is limited. This implies that it is essential to optimize the ground improvement for having a cost-effective design while minimizing the risk of the bump at the end of bridge.
Xiao, D., Jiang, G. L., Liao, D., Hu, Y. F., & Liu, X. F. (2018). Influence of cement-fly ash-gravel pile-supported approach embankment on abutment piles in soft ground. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 10(5), 977–985. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrmge.2018.06.001