Field Monitoring of Curved Girder Bridges with Integral Abutments

Research Project


Field Monitoring of Curved Girder Bridges with Integral Abutments

Project involves all of the bridges at the I-80/I-235/I-35 interchange in Des Moines, Iowa


Principal investigators: Brent Phares, 515-294-5879, (project list), Iowa State University

Project status


Start date: 06/01/08
End date: 01/01/14


Report: January 2014, Field Monitoring of Curved Girder Bridges with Integral Abutments 15.24 mb (*pdf)

Related publications:

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Sponsor(s): Federal Highway Administration Transportation Pooled Fund
Iowa Department of Transportation
Ohio Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Wisconsin Department of Transportation

About the research


Nationally, there is concern regarding the design, fabrication, and erection of horizontally-curved steel girder bridges due to unpredicted girder displacements, fit-up, and locked-in stresses. One reason for the concerns is that up to one-quarter of steel girder bridges are being designed with horizontal curvature. The concerns are significant enough that a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research problem statement was developed and given high priority for funding.

It is also noted that an urgent need exists to reduce bridge maintenance costs by eliminating or reducing deck joints. This can be achieved by expanding the use of integral abutments to include curved girder bridges.

The long-term objective of this effort is to establish guidelines for the use of integral abutments with curved girder bridges. The primary objective of this work was to monitor and evaluate the behavior of six in-service, horizontally-curved, steel-girder bridges with integral and semi-integral abutments. In addition, the influence and behavior of fixed and expansion piers were considered.

2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, Iowa 50010-8664
Phone: 515-294-9501 ~ Fax: 515-294-0467
The Bridge Engineering Center is administered by Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation.

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