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Surtees Bridge, which carries the A66(T) over the River Tees near Thornaby-on-Tees in the UK, has been showing signs of distress that predate its opening in 1981. Subsequent investigations have shown that the bridge distress is related to unexpectedly large settlement of the eastern approach embankment. Recent ground investigations prompted by a proposed widening of the river crossing have produced many new data on the alluvial deposits underlying the site, and explain why embankment settlement was so much larger than originally anticipated. Comparison of the geotechnical parameters obtained from the original and more recent ground investigations suggests that the original investigation significantly underestimated the thickness of an alluvial clay layer underlying the site, and that its coefficient of consolidation was overestimated. Settlement analyses using geotechnical data from the original ground investigations predict moderate embankment settlements occurring principally during construction. Settlement analyses based on all the available data predict far larger embankment settlements occurring over extended time periods. The latter analyses predict an embankment settlement similar to that observed and of sufficient magnitude to cause the observed lateral displacement of the bridge due to lateral loading of its piled foundation.
Geotechnical Engineering 161, April 2008, Issue GE2, Pages 63–74
University of Leeds
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