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Single Span Integral Abutment Bridge Response - Straight and Skew Alignments

TitleSingle Span Integral Abutment Bridge Response - Straight and Skew Alignments
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsQuinn BH, Civjan SA, Breña SF, Allen CA
Conference NameTransportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting
Date Published01/2014
PublisherTransportation Research Board
Conference LocationWashington, D.C.
Accession Number01514850
Other NumbersPaper #14-2840
KeywordsAlignment, Bridge substructures, Data collection, Girder bridges, Jointless bridges, Repeated loads, Skew bridges, Strain gages

The Vermont Agency of Transportation sponsored a program of field instrumentation and analysis to evaluate the performance of Integral Abutment Bridges (IABs). The research components are the responsibility of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The response of two bridges are presented and discussed in this paper, a straight girder non-skewed bridge with 141.0 ft. span, and a straight girder 15 degree skewed bridge with 121.4 ft. span. Instrumentation includes strain gages, tiltmeters, inclinometers, crack meters, pressure cells, and displacement transducers. All gages include thermistors to monitor long term response to cyclic thermal loads. This paper gives an overview of bridge details and instrumentation, focusing on observed substructure response using data collected from late 2009 through July 2013. The longitudinal displacements in the skewed bridge were similar to the non-skewed bridge. It was determined that a two-dimensional analysis would be sufficient for approximating the longitudinal global movement of both bridges. However, transverse displacements in the skewed bridge introduce bi-axial bending in the piles that needs consideration in design. It was found that the maximum earth pressures occurring in both bridges are well below the assumed fully passive pressure used for design. Piles for IABs are commonly designed assuming the top of abutment displacement is constant throughout the height of the abutment, therefore neglecting any abutment rotation. However, data presented in this paper show that in both bridges the displacements were significantly lower at the bottom of the abutment (top of pile).