Historic Bridge Abutment Repair

GeoStabilization International
Published: 3 June 2024

Historic bridges are common in many regions of North America, and local and national governments strive to preserve them for centuries to come. As the years take their toll, these bridges require maintenance and rehab, and the owners of these bridges need to strike a delicate balance between preservation and repair. GeoStabilization International® is one of the top experts when it comes to restoring and repairing bridge abutments so future generations can enjoy and learn from their history.

During the revolutionary war, General Washington burned the wooden bridge over a small brook in the Northeastern United States to delay the advance of Cornwallis army. Immediately after the war, the bridge was rebuilt with stone and survived for nearly 200 years until a massive rainstorm coupled with an impact from a drunk driver to the stone guardrail jeopardized the eastern abutment wall.

The state Department of Transportation called GeoStabilization International® to stabilize the failing abutment using a combination of drilled SuperMicropiles and SuperNails. In a matter of days, the abutment was fixed and ready to withstand centuries of continued service.

Bringing New Life to an Old Bridge

Repairing historic bridges means dealing with a wide variety of problems. First, the people who built bridges centuries ago did not consider the access needs of large equipment. Many historic bridges have limited access for modern construction equipment, which limits the scope of repair efforts. The environmental impacts of these repairs may be another concern, as many of these bridges are in preservation areas.

Masonry has also changed dramatically over the centuries, so repairing historic bridges often requires knowledge of old stonework techniques. To rebuild historic stone bridges and walls, masons need training in a combination of modern and ancient methodologies.

For any historic bridge, speed of construction is another issue. Taking advantage of modern technology can speed up repairs immensely, often taking days or weeks instead of months. This technology enables the bridge to reopen to visitors much sooner.

Repairing Bridge Wing Walls and Shoring Up Failing Abutments

GeoStabilization utilizes a full spectrum of advanced technology to repair historic bridges.

SuperNails and SuperMicropiles are among the keys to shoring up the land around bridge abutments in the event of soil erosion or loss. They provide soil and rock reinforcement and stabilization even in areas that have voids and active landslides.

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) and Geosynthetically Confined Soil® (GCS) are other options for strengthening historic bridge abutments while preserving the bridge. They provide earth backfill, soil reinforcement, and wall facing in difficult environments without changing the profile of the bridge itself.

Choose GeoStabilization International® for Historic Bridge Rehab

GeoStabilization International®, has more than 20 years of experience in historic bridge rehab, and our team of masons, operators, and design engineers is highly skilled when it comes to restoring bridge abutments, wing walls in bridges, and other forms of bridge repair. Call us today at 855-955-2930 to learn how our geohazard mitigation experts can help preserve historic bridges across the United States and Canada.


Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls, Pile Foundations