Evaluation of Alternative Abutment Piling for Low Volume Road Bridges

Project status

In progress

Start date: 01/01/17
End date: 08/31/18


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigators:

About the research

Alternatives to driving Hpiling are being utilized by other states and private industry. Helical screw pilings are being used and the load bearings are listed as 5 to 50 tons per piling. Micropilings are also being used with 90,000 bearing capacity being typical. Either of these may be a simpler answer to driving Hpiling. A study of their economics and application may be beneficial to Iowa counties.

In addition, counties have a need to utilize safe, cost-effective pile driving systems to reconstruct or repair bridges. Vibratory pile driving is a method to accomplish this goal. There is very little data available for tests on the strength of alternative piles or vibratory driven piling.

The objective of this project is to study the strength and bearing capacity of helical piles as well as piling driven with vibratory equipment. This project would develop design guidance, construction methods, acceptance criteria, and include development of training on design and construction using these alternative pile systems for local roads.



  • Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Iowa Highway Research Board