You are on page 1of 70

Bridge Substructure


MAB1053 Bridge Engineering

Faculty of Civil Engineering, UTM

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 1
 Substructures may be classified as ‘end
supports’ or ‘intermediate supports’, according to
their position along a bridge.
 End supports can be abutment walls with
associated wing walls for closed side spans, and
either skeleton abutments or bank seats for
bridges with open side spans.
 Intermediate supports are the piers and columns
in all bridges with more than one span.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 2
Bridge Abutments
 Current practice is to make decks integral with
the abutments. The objective is to avoid the use
of joints over abutments and piers.
 Expansion joints are prone to leak and allow the
ingress of corrosion agents into the bridge deck
and substructure.
 In general all bridges are made continuous over
intermediate supports and decks under 6m long
with skews not exceeding 30° are made integral
with their abutments.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 3
Bridge Abutments
 Usually the narrow bridge is cheaper in the open abutment form and
the wide bridge is cheaper in the solid abutment form. The exact
transition point between the two types depends very much on the
geometry and the site of the particular bridge.
 In most cases the open abutment solution has a better appearance
and is less intrusive on the general flow of the ground contours and
for these reasons is to be preferred.
 It is the cost of the wing walls when related to the deck costs which
swings the balance of cost in favour of the solid abutment solution
for wider bridges.
 However the wider bridges with solid abutments produce a tunneling
effect and costs have to be considered in conjunction with the
proper functioning of the structure where fast traffic is passing

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 4
Bridge Abutments
 Solid abutments for narrow bridges should only be
adopted where the open abutment solution is not
possible. In the case of wide bridges the open abutment
solution is to be preferred, but there are many cases
where economy must be the overriding consideration.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 5
Open Abutments
 A bridge constructed at
existing ground level to
span across a road in
cutting may need only
nominal bank seats if
good foundation strata
are available at shallow
depths. This may give
rise to problems where
negative reactions are
likely to develop.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 6
Open Abutments
 Spill-through or skeleton
abutments are suitable
where spread footings
are needed at a level well
below a bank seat.
 It is often advantageous
to design a footing to
offset the foundations in
relation to the bearings,
because the permanent
horizontal loading shifts
the reaction.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 7
Various Types of Open Abutments

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 8
Piled Foundation

Where load-bearing strata are at considerable depth below

the bank seat level, piled foundations have to be used.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 9
Wall Abutments
 Mass concrete is
Mass economic for small
Concrete heights, such as where
headroom is less than
that needed for vehicular
 Cantilever is simple to
form but demanding high
Cantilever concentration of
reinforcement in the stem
as height increases

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 10
Wall Abutments

Counterfort Stub Counterfort

 Counterfort and Stub Counterfort abutments. Reduces

weight of reinforcement compared with cantilever, but
calls for more complex shuttering.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 11
Hollow Abutment

 For high abutments on sloping ground, this

construction offers advantages over heavy
counterfort construction.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 12
Other Types of Wall Abutments

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 13
Choice of Abutments
Wall Abutments
These are normally designed as a reinforced concrete
cantilever fixed along the base slab.
 Strutted abutments may be used for square bridges up
to 12m span, where advantage is taken of the
propping action of the deck to relieve the foundation
pressure under the toe of the footing.
 Backfilling to these walls is generally selected granular
material and earth pressures are often assessed on
the basis of an equivalent fluid density.
 Typical details :
a) Wall height – from 5m to 9m
b) Wall thickness – 0.7m to 1.1m

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 14
Choice of Abutments
Skeleton Abutments
This type of end support consists of transverse cill beam across
one or more buried columns carrying the loads down to a base. It
can be used where the road over a bridge is on embankment and
a suitable foundation can be obtained near the previous existing
ground level.

Typical details :
 Columns spaced at 3.5m center and directly under deck bearings
where possible to avoid large bending moments in the cill beam.
 Columns placed at ends of the cill beam since wing walls are
cantilevered horizontally from each end.
 The rear face of a column is usually vertical and the front face
battered at 1:6 since each column is designed to act as a vertical
cantilever from the continuous based slab and horizontal loads
have a large effect.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 15
Choice of Abutments
Bank Seats

 If the road over a bridge is at or near to existing ground

level, then a bank seat may be sited at ground level
after either a s a simple base or carried on piles.
 A bank seat carried on piles driven through fill is
usually preferable to a skeleton abutment carried on
piles at a lower level.
 The height of a bank seat is often only 2-4 metres so
that it is possible to employ mass concrete wall
 Where the foundation level is above the level of a
nearby open surface, a slip circle analysis should be
made to check the stability of the bank slope.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 16
Choice of Abutments
Wing Walls
These walls are included at all end supports in order to
contain the immediate areas of back-fill. There are two
basic types to be considered and the choice is normally
made on purely structural or economic reasons.
 Horizontal cantilevered wall – this type is very economic
since it requires a minimum amount of material and saves
on excavation for additional footings.
 Vertical cantilever free-standing wall – this type is similar
to a normal retaining wall except that horizontal cantilever
extensions are often used. They are suitable beyond the
lengths and skew angles at which horizontal cantilevered
walls become unpractical. The main disadvantage is the
large height of these walls and the amount of buried
structure which causes the cost to become excessive.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 17
Wing Walls

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 18
Wing Walls

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 19
Wing Walls

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 20
Modes of Failure
The stability of an abutment should be
checked for several modes of failure :
 Sliding failure
 Overturning
 Foundation yield
 Slip Circle
 Structural failure

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 21
Abutments – Modes of Failure

Sliding Failure
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 22
Abutments – Modes of Failure
Sliding Failure
 Resisted by friction in granular soils or adhesion
in cohesive soils, aided by the passive resistance
of the soil in front of the toe.
 If public utilities are to install services in front of
the wall, the location or depth of the trenches may
invalidate the passive resistance.
 Sliding resistance can be increased by
incorporating a heel below the foundations. Factor
of safety = 2.0 considering passive resistance.
 JKR use f.o.s = 1.5 not considering passive
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 23
Abutments – Modes of Failure

Foundation Yield Overturning

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 24
Abutments – Modes of Failure
 Foundation yield (bearing failure) –
produces similar effect to overturning
 Overturning – In practice overturning is
usually associated with some yielding of
the foundation, since this produces very
high pressures under the front of the

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 25
Abutments – Modes of Failure

Slip Circle Structural Failure

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 26
Abutments – Modes of Failure
 Slip Circle – Only a problem in cohesive soils.

 Structural failure – Failure can occur in the

stem of the footing if an inadequate section is
provided (design fault). Factor of safety for
reinforcement is provided in code.
Substructure : nominal f.o.s. = 1.0 (piles). Use
partial safety factors for material.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 27
Basic Components of Abutment

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 28
Forces on an Abutment

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 29
Forces on an Abutment
 Dead load due to the superstructure. Proper
dead load include self-weight of beams and
deck. Superimposed dead load include
premix, surfacing, services and railings etc.
 Live load on the superstructure.
 BS 5400 – HA UDL and HD KEL
 BS 5400 – HB (45 units) abnormal vehicle load
 JKR Standard – special vehicle (SV)

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 30
Forces on an Abutment
 Self-weight of the abutment – Components
of the abutment include main body, wing walls
and approach slab.
 Traction force – Horizontal forces due to
braking and acceleration of vehicles. BS 5400
specifies maximum traction force. JKR puts a
maximum value of 253 kN.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 31
Forces on an Abutment
 Temperature variations – Expansion and contraction
due to temperature variation will induce force in the
substructure. Substantial movements occur in steel
bridges. The temperature induced movements or
deflections give rise to forces which will be transferred
to the abutments.
 Creep and shrinkage – These are time dependent
properties of concrete. For both creep and shrinkage,
it is assumed (JKR practice) that about 50% occurs
after 3 months and about ¾ has taken place after 6

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 32
Forces on an Abutment
 Earth pressures – The equivalent fluid concept (Rankine’s or
Coulomb’s theory) is normally used for calculating the earth
pressures on an abutment, but the selection of the appropriate
intensity depends on the degree of restraint offered by the wall
and the particular calculation being considered.
 In a situation where a wall can move by tilting or sliding and the
backfill is a free draining granular material, active pressures are
 A common design approach is to use an equivalent fluid
pressure of 5H kN/m2, where the active coefficient, Ka is normally
 Modern compaction technique for placing the backfill material
and the use of more rigid type of construction have caused many
designers to estimate design pressures for the at-rest condition.
 The value of the earth pressure coefficient at-rest, Ko is often
taken to be 1.5-2.0 times the active coefficient, Ka.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 33
Forces on an Abutment
 Surcharge pressure – The effect of HA and
HB loadings on the carriageway behind the
abutment is arbitrarily treated as an additional
surcharge loading. The nominal values
suggested in BS 5400 for live load surcharge
are 10kN/m2 for HA loading and 20kN/m2 for
HB loading. The weight of granular material is
assumed to be 19kN/m3.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 34
Forces on an Abutment
 Wind loading – must be considered only for
bridges with spans greater than 20m. A typical
value for wind speed of 40 mph is assumed for
30m span.
 Seismic loading – There was only one case
so far in 1960 of medium size disturbance.
Long span bridges such as Penang Bridge
include seismic loading consideration in the

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 35
Forces on the Abutment

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 36
Abutment (Load Case 1)

Self Weight during construction

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 37
Abutment (Load Case 2)

1/3 PSHB
Tr + Fstc + W


azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 38
Abutment (Load Case 3)

1/3 PSHB
Tr + Fstc + W


azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 39
Abutment (Load Case 4)




azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 40
Design Standards for Abutments

British Standards
 BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
 BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the
Design of Concrete Bridges
 BS 8002: Code of Practice for Earth Retaining
 BS 8006: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and
Other Fills

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 41
Design Standards for Abutments
Design Manuals
 BD30: Backfilled Retaining Walls and Bridge
 BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
 BA41: The Design and Appearance of Bridges
 BA42: The Design of Integral Bridges
 BD42: Design of Embedded Retaining Walls and
Bridge Abutments
 BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
 BD70: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills
for Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 42
Basic Design
Cantilever Wall Abutment

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 43
Cantilever Retaining Wall
RETAINING WALL is constructed of
reinforced concrete and it supports
backfill soil by a cantilever action.
 The cantilevered stem portion is fixed
at the bottom and is free at the top.
The base slab serves as a fixed
support and prevents against sliding
and overturning.
 There is an option to install a key at
the bottom of the base slab to ensure
further safety against sliding.
 These walls provide prolonged
durability and serviceability. They are
widely used due to their ease in
construction and cost-effectiveness.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 44
Cantilever Retaining Wall

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 45
Analysis & Design of Cantilever
Retaining Wall
 Stability Analysis
 Design of Concrete Members

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 46
Modes of Failure
 Overturning
 Sliding/Translation
 Bearing capacity
 Bending or shear failure of stem
 Bending or shear failure of heel
 Bending or shear failure of toe
 Bending or shear failure of key

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 47
Design Considerations
The design of the wall must:
 Resist sliding along its base
 Resist overturning
 Not exceed the bearing capacity of the
soil beneath the base
 Avoid excessive settlement.
 Built structurally strong to resist failure
from the build up of internal stresses
produced by external forces
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 48
Forces and Pressures on
Retaining Walls
 The basic objective is to apply the conditions for
static equilibrium, which are:

1. All the forces in the horizontal direction

must add to zero.
2. All the forces in the vertical direction must
add to zero.
3. The clockwise moments (or torques) must
equal the counter-clockwise moments.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 49
Forces on Cantilever Wall

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 50
Lateral Earth Pressures
 Lateral earth pressure is normally calculated
based on Rankine or Coulomb’s theories.
 Lateral earth pressure is assumed distributed
triangularly. The location of resultant is at 1/3 of
 If there is surcharge, lateral earth pressure from
surcharge is distributed uniformly. The resultant
is at ½ of height.
 The lateral earth pressure is calculated at the
edge of heel.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 51
Lateral Earth Pressures


Pa = 1/2Ka.γH2


Ka.w Ka.γH
Due to surcharge Due to backfill soil

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 52
Pressure Coefficients
 The Rankine active earth pressure coefficient Ka
for the specific condition of a horizontal backfill
surface is calculated as follows:
Ka = (1 – sin(φ)) / (1 + sin(φ))
 φ is the angle of internal friction of soil backfill.
 The equation is modified if the backfill surface is

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 53
Stability Analysis

1. Check factor of safety against

2. Check soil bearing pressure.
3. Check factor of safety against sliding.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 54
 The rotating point for overturning is normally
assumed at bottom of toe. The height of soil
used to calculate lateral earth pressure should
be from top of earth to the bottom of footing.
 Elements that resist overturning are weight of
stem, weight of footing, weight of soil above
footing. If there is a surcharge, the weight of
surcharge can also be considered.
 The factor of safety against overturning is
resisting moment divided by overturning
moment. Acceptable factor of safety is between
1.5 to 2.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 55
Factor of Safety for Overturning
 Overturning moment is  The resisting moment is
calculated from : calculated as :

where Ws,Wf,We,Wk,Wq are

weight of stem, footing, earth,
Where γ is unit weight of key and surcharge,
soil, Ka is active pressure Xs,Xf,Xe,Xk,Xq are distances
coefficient, and H is the from the center of stem,
height from top of earth to footing, earth, key, and
bottom of footing, q is surcharge to the rotation point
surcharge. at toe.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 56
Factor of Safety for Overturning

 The factor of safety against overturning is

determined from :

FoS = Resisting Moment = MR

Overturning Moment Mo

 FoS should be > 1.5

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 57
Bearing Pressure
 The centre of the total weight from the edge of
toe is

 Where W is total weight of retaining wall

including stem, footing, earth and surcharge.
 The eccentricity, e = B/2-X, where B is width of
base footing.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 58
Checking for Bearing Pressure


Eccentricity, e = B/2 –X

X e ≤ B/6 or e > B/6

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 59
Bearing Pressure
 If e ≤ B/6, the maximum and minimum footing
pressure is calculated as:

 Where, Qmax, Qmin are maximum and

minimum footing pressure, B is the width of

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 60
Bearing Pressure
 If e > B/6, Qmin is zero,

 Qmax should be less than allowable soil

bearing capacity of footing soil.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 61
 The driving force that causes retaining wall to
slide is the lateral earth pressure from soil and
 The forces that resist sliding are passive
pressure at toe, the friction at the base of the
footing; and the passive pressure against the
key if used.
 The factor of safety against sliding is the total
resisting force divided by total driving force.
Acceptable factor of safety is between 1.5 to 2.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 62
Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The driving force for sliding is calculated as

 The friction resisting force at the base of

footing is calculated as
where µ is friction coefficient between concrete
and soil. µ is often taken as tan(2/3 φ). φ is
internal friction of the soil.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 63
Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The passive resistance (if any) at the toe of
retaining wall is calculated as

 Where Kp is passive earth pressure coefficient, h is the

height from top of soil to bottom of footing at toe. If a
key is used to help resist sliding, h is the height from
top of soil to the bottom of the key.

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 64
Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The factor of safety is calculated as

 Resisting Force, ΣF > Sliding Force, μΣW

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 65
Forces on the Abutment

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 66
Design of RC Members
1. Check thickness of stem for shear stress.
2. Design stem reinforcement for bending.
3. Check thickness of heel for shear stress.
4. Design heel reinforcement.
5. Check shear stress for toe when the toe is long.
6. Design toe reinforcement for bending.
7. Check shear stress in key when key is deep
and narrow.
8. Design key reinforcement for bending.
azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 67
Design of Stem

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 68
Design of Heel

eu ≤ B/6

eu > B/6

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 69
Design of Toe

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 70