Curved Integral Abutment Bridges

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Traditionally, expansion joints, expansion bearings, and other structural release mechanisms have been used on long, multi-span highway bridges to accommodate thermal movements of the bridge superstructure. However, joint systems are a major cause of extensive maintenance and expensive rehabilitation work on bridges. Straight integral abutment bridges (straight IAB's) and IAB's with varying skew angles have been studied by many researchers in recent years. This study focuses on horizontally curved steel I-girder IAB's with a degree of curvature ranging from 0 degree to 172 degrees based on a 1200 ft bridge length. A three-dimensional non-linear finite element model is used to perform parametric study to investigate the effect of different parameters on the behavior of curved steel I-girder IAB's. Parameters that are used in this study include: bridge length, temperature, soil profile type, span length, radius, and pile type.
Over 1,700 finite element bridge models were studied, and each model considered the complete bridge including the superstructure, substructure and soil. The behavior of piles in curved IAB's was also studied. Recommendations are made for design of IAB bridges as well as piles in IAB's.