Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) technology consists of closely spaced layers of geosynthetic reinforcement and compacted granular fill material. GRS has been used for a variety of earthwork applications since the U.S. Forest Service first used it to build walls for roads in steep mountain
terrain in the 1970s. Since then, the technology has evolved into the GRS Integrated Bridge System (IBS), a fast, cost-effective method of bridge support that blends the roadway into the superstructure. GRS-IBS includes a reinforced soil foundation, a GRS abutment, and a GRS integrated approach. The application of IBS has several advantages. The system is easy to design and economically construct. It can be built in variable weather conditions with readily available labor, materials, and equipment and can easily be modified in the field. This method has significant value
when employed for small, single-span structures meeting the criteria described in this manual.
As a result of the demonstrated performance of GRS-IBS, the technology was selected for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts initiative, aimed at accelerating implementation of proven, market-ready technologies. This manual is the first in a two-part series
and outlines the design and construction of GRS-IBS. The second document is a synthesis report to substantiate the design method. Both documents are a collaboration between many disciplines within FHWA: geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, maintenance, and pavement engineering.