Engineers Australia

Geosynthetic-reinforced soil structures for railways and highways in Japan

Prof. Fumio Tatsuoka

Geosynthetic-reinforced soil retaining walls (GRS-RWs) have been constructed for a total length of more than 130 km for mainly railways, including high-speed train lines, as well as for highways. With these GRS RWs, a full-height rigid (FHR) facing is constructed after a full-height wrapped-around geosynthetic-reinforced soil walls has been constructed and the major residual deformation of the backfill and supporting ground has taken place. The FHR facing is firmly connected to the reinforcement layers. A number of this type GRS RWs performed very well during the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. A number of conventional type RWs and embankments that collapsed during these and other earthquakes were reconstructed to GRS-RWs of this type.

Several new bridge types comprising GRS have also been developed and used to construct bridges more 60 than. The latest version is GRS integral bridge, which is constructed as follows: 1) a pair of GRS RWs is constructed as ordinary GRS RWs; and 2) a continuous girder is constructed with the ends being integrated to the top of the facings without using bearings. To validate a high performance of GRS integral bridges against annual thermal contraction and expansion of the girder and severe seismic loads, small models (a scale factor of about 1/10) were cyclically loaded in the lateral direction and subjected to dynamic excitations placed on a shaking table. A full-scale model was constructed in 2009 and the first prototype was constructed for a high-speed train in 2011.

Speaker Biography

Prof. Fumio Tatsuoka is the Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, Tokyo University of Science. Before joining Tokyo University of science, he worked associate professor and professor for 27 years at the University of Tokyo. He was the past president (2006-2010) and vice-president (2006 – 2008) of the International Geosynthetics Society. He is currently the editorial board member for Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, IGS, Geosynthetics International, IGS and Ground Improvement, ISSMFE Chairman of TC 29 on Laboratory Stress-Strain Testing Method, ISSMGE, and Council member of IGS. Prof Tatsuoka served as an engineering consultant to numerous governmental committees and construction projects, including the Akashi Strait Bridge Project and Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway Project. He published more than 400 technical journal papers in “Soils and Foundations”, “Geotechnical Testing Journal”, “Géotechnique”, “Journal of Geotechnical and Environment Engineering”, “Ground Improvement Journal”, “Geosynthetics International”, “Geotextiles and Geomembranes”. His papers and presentations won numerous awards nationally and internationally. He has made numerous keynote, state-of-art, and by invited presentations at international conferences including the first Bishop Lecture (2011).


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