Masonry Arch Bridges with Reinforced Soil Spandrel Walls

Colin JFP Jones, Chiado Doulala-Rigby

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In the United Kingdom, most masonry arch bridges were built before the beginning of the twentieth century and many are more than 250 years old and of architectural significance. Masonry arch bridges are simple structures with a stone or brick arch supporting outer spandrel walls infilled with soil or granular material. Originally built to carry horse and cart traffic, they have proved to be able to support modern traffic loadings. However, constant traffic can lead to the spread and even the collapse of the spandrel walls due to distortion of the fill. The general maintenance cost of masonry bridges has proved to be lower than most modern structures, and the construction of new masonry arch bridges is encouraged in the United Kingdom. This paper provides two linked case histories relating to (i) the first use of reinforced soil to repair a 250-year-old masonry arch bridge in 1984 and (ii) the introduction of reinforced soil into the basic design of a new masonry arch bridge constructed in 2000. 


Reinforced soil, masonry arch bridge, spandrel walls, geogrid


Jones, C. J., Doulala-Rigby, C. (2022). Masonry Arch Bridges with Reinforced Soil Spandrel Walls, Vol. 7, Issue 2, p.72-82. doi: 10.4417/IJGCH-07-02-06


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