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COMMISSION 6: PREFABRICATION

TASK GROUP 6.3. PRECAST BRIDGES

STATE OF THE ART REPORT


PRECAST BRIDGES

COMMISSION 6: PREFABRICATION
TASK GROUP 6.3. PRECAST BRIDGES

STATE OF THE ART REPORT: PRECAST BRIDGES


INDEX:

1.
2.
3.
4.

5.
6.

7.

8.

SCOPE
DEFINITIONS
HISTORY. PAST EXPERIENCES
TYPOLOGY. PRESENT TECHNOLOGY.
4.1. ELEMENTS
4.2. ISOSTATIC BRIDGES
4.3. PARTIAL CONTINUITY BRIDGES
4.4. STRUCTURAL CONTINUITY BRIDGES
4.5. INTEGRAL BRIDGES
4.6. SEGMENTAL BRIDGES
4.7. SPECIAL BRIDGES
4.8. CABLE STAYED BRIDGES
AESTHETICS
DESIGN
6.1. SPECIFIC ASPECTS
6.2. DETAILS
6.3. DURABILITY
6.4. SEISMIC ASPECTS
EXECUTION
7.1. PRODUCTION PROCESS
7.2. QUALITY CONTROL
7.3. TRANSPORT AND ERECTION
7.4. SITE WORK
7.5. TESTING
7.6. MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION AND ASSESMENT
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND PICTURE CREDITS

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1. Scope
The intention of this paper is to provide a description of the present status of development
of solutions for precast concrete bridges, of which there is now an astounding variety.
The document also attempts to focus attention on other areas where specific research is
needed to clarify real or fictitious problems arising in the development of such structures.
The development of precast concrete bridges actually has rather a long history, with the
first designs dating from practically the initiation of prefabrication itself. Solutions dating
from the thirties may be found in most developed countries, although admittedly for short
span bridges and generally restricted to small works.
It was not until the fifties that these structural solutions began to develop more intensely.
The vigorous development that took place from that time on was largely driven by advances
in the ways and means available for transport and erection the precast members as well as by
progress in research on prestressing with steel wires and strands.
While in some countries the Ministries of Transport or equivalent bodies draft codes on
standard series of prefabricated bridges, generally limiting such regulations to the transversal
sections and leaving manufacturers free to determine tendon placement and dimensioning,
most countries have not proceeded in this manner, allowing precast concrete manufacturers to
develop their own solutions. At present the prevailing approach is to refrain from regulating
these members, leaving the development of new types of solutions to manufacturers'
imagination and research.
Development has been continuous, speedy and quite spectacular since the fifties. The three
basic reasons for the success of prefabricated bridges are as follows:
- Speedy construction
- High cost-competitiveness compared to cast-in-situ solutions
- Minimum disturbance of traffic in the event of bridges to be built over railways or roads.
The primarily beam - solutions initially developed for these structural members were
fiercely criticised because of their obvious aesthetic limitations, the inherent difficulties in
reasonably adapting them to curved bridges and the problems ensuing from the large number
of joints, which caused user discomfort as well as maintenance problems.
Other criticism levelled at prefabricated bridges at the time was less justified and falls
within the usual repertoire of objections to prefabricated structures. This criticism hinged
essentially on two issues:
- The idea that prefabricated structures are monotonous and ugly.
- Although not generally expressed clearly and explicitly, rather a large number of
designers offered considerable resistance to prefabrication, and in particular to
prefabricated bridges, because they saw this type of industry to be competition that would
reduce the demand for the services of engineering firms engaging in design.
This latter objection, veiled and unexpressed, has been latent in numerous countries for a
good many years.
Certain specific technical issues were also referred, such as the initial doubts that arose
with regard to the performance of prestressing tendon transfer length, particularly in the case
of tendons with large diameters subjected to fatigue stress - typically in the case of railroad
bridges - or about the effectiveness of the shear strength at the interface between the cast-insitu concrete and the prefabricated members, also especially in the event of fatigue stress.
The prefabricating industry's response to these problems has been speedy, spectacular and
conclusive.
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It has responded to the accusation that its structures are monotonous and ugly by creating
an extraordinarily wide variety of forms, often with greater freedom than in cast-in-situ
bridges, developing members with variable depths, solving the problem of curved plan
bridges and providing for hyperstatic continuity which not only confers structural advantages
but eliminates the need for joints, thereby precluding maintenance and discomfort issues.
Surfaces, edges and surface textures that are impossible to achieve via cast-in-situ
execution are within reach in prefabricated construction. The visual appearance of the
concrete in precast members, moreover, is more apt to be of a high quality than in cast-in-situ
solutions.
The veiled criticism based on the fear of losing design work has been eradicated by the
power of reality that always underlies practical evidence.
Moreover, the development of cranes, launching cradles and assembly methods in general,
along with the increased length and loading capacity of transport vehicles, have enhanced
prefabrication potential enormously, both from the technical (longer spans) and financial
standpoints. All this has led to the existence of prefabricated structures that can readily bridge
spans of 100 m; and, as discussed below, in the light of the combination of these advantages
and other modern techniques, there is no appreciable difference between the potential of
precast and cast-in-situ concrete. Indeed, solutions involving a precast deck, generally
comprising large members, and a stayed bridge system, used not only on the grounds of its
structural effectiveness but as an evolutive system, have eliminated the specific span
limitations affecting prefabrication and increased its competitiveness enormously.
The truly beneficial advances in recent years in transversal deck constitution using strut
bracing and precast members in general have made it possible to build very wide decks with
lightweight as well as highly aesthetic monotube beams.
All the forgoing has substantially enhanced the three essential advantages listed at the
beginning of this section.
The prefabrication industry has, in a period of barely 50 years, proved able to respond to
important challenges, solving many problems and creating technology that has led to
solutions that are:
- of greater technological excellence
- more cost-competitive
- of higher aesthetic quality
- faster to build.

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2. Definitions
Bridge: Civil engineering construction works mainly intended to carry loads related to
comunication over a natural obstacle or a communication line. This includes all types of
bridges, especially road bridges, footbridges, railway bridges, etc.
Abutment: Any end support of a bridge usually without rigid continuity with the deck.
Rigid abutments and flexible abutments should be distinguished where relevant.
Pier: Intermediate support of a bridge, situated under the deck.
Bearing: Structural device located between the deck and an abutment or pier of the bridge
and transferring loads from the deck to the abutment or pier.
Prestress: Permanent effect due to controlled forces and/or controlled deformations
imposed on a structure. Various types of prestress shall be distinguished from each other
as relevant (for example prestress by tendons, prestress by imposed deformation at
supports).
Headroom: Free height available for traffic.
Continuous bridge: Bridge with no expansion joints between adjacent intermediate
spans, with or without structural continuity
Integral bridge: Bridge with no expansions joints - neither between adjacent intermediate
spans nor between end spans and abutments
Diaphragm: Transverse deck stiffening beam of insitu or precast concrete construction
Crosshead: Transverse support beam at an intermediate deck support
Sagging moment: Bending moment inducing tension in the bottom fibres (positive
moment)
Hogging moment: Bending moment inducing tension in the top fibres (negative moment)
Internal bonded tendon: Post-tensioning tendon contained within a ribbed ducting which
is fully filled with a cementitious grout.

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3. History. Past Experiences.


3.1. Germany
The first prestressed concrete bridge built with prefabricated beams was executed in
Germany in 1938 by WAYSS & FREYTAG. The underpass at Oelde in Westfalen crossed the
Autobahn without intermediate piers. It was realised only two years after the beginning of the
construction of prestressed concrete bridges. The length of the I-shaped concrete beams was
33 M. They were cast on site in a bed and then moved into their final position.
1938: First prestressed concrete bridge Underpass at Oelde in Westfalen (WAYSS &
FREYTAG)

According to Freyssinet the beams were cast in two phases: The lower flange was cast
first and then posttensioned, then the web together with the upper flange was cast. The
hardening process was accelerated by steam curing. [3.1]
Nearly two decades later the industrialised production of prestressed precast beams for
bridges started in West-Germany, initiated by the Federal Railway Administration. The need
for shorter erection times and for the least hindering of traffic led to the design of the first
standardised railway-crossings.
Two main production methods were developed for the railway-bridges:
HOCHTIEF used prestressed precast I-beams, weight up to 8,0 tons. After positioning
cross posttensioning cables in the upper flange and in the ribs an orthotropic slab was created.
The joints were cast in situ (wet-joints).
DYCHERHOFF & WIDMANN used a contact system. The precast elements were box
girders with smooth side walls. The cross posttensioning cables in the lower and in the upper
flange realised by pure contact the orthotropic system (dry-joints).
In East-Germany several standardised precast beams, mainly hollow-box-sections, were
developed for railway and road-bridges, all were posttensioned in the transverse direction.
Later elements with sufficient torsion stiffness were used and transverse posttensioning
could be omitted.
The advantage of the high degree of shop precasting brought some disadvantages in the
construction of road-bridges:
* inaccuracies could be corrected only within the screeding, which was unsatisfactory
for the demanded high comfort required for the road surface,
* the isolation-layer could not always be placed accurately,
*many joints produced problems for maintenance (icing),
*continuos bridges could not be constructed.
In the 1960s precast bridges without transverse posttensioning were designed as so-called
mixed systems, e.g. precast beams with structural in-situ concrete on top of the beams and
in-situ concrete for cross beams at support. This method allowed for tolerances, no transverse
posttensioning was required and the orthotropic behaviour was easily achieved. Several
variants of these mixed systems developped:
*beams placed close to each other. The in-situ concrete slab had no joints. (Classical
mixed system).
* precast beams placed with gaps in between and in-situ concrete slab without joints.
* precast beams placed with smal gaps and in-situ parts in between, which take
bending moments.
*precast beams placed with smal gaps and in-situ parts in between for transfer of
shearforces (beam-rows).
*precast beams with in-situ slab in between
* precast beams and precast slabs with in-situ topping.
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In 1979 guidelines for design and execution of bridges with precast beams were published
[3.2]. The guidelines include design rules, examples and details specific for precast bridges.
These recommendations are valid still to-day and only some minor amendments had to be
made due to the progress of the state of the art.
The latest developments in the construction of precast bridges include continuous bridges
which are prestressed for transportation and after placing continuously posttensioned. Up to
200 m length (up to 7 spans) were continuously posttensioned.

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4. Typology. Present Technology


4.1.

Elements

4.1.1 - Decks having precast beams as main resistent elements.


Some types of precast beams used in bridges are sketched in fig. 4.1:
- square beams (fig.4.1 a)
- I beams (fig. 4.1 b, c, )
- T beams (fig. 4.1 d)
- inverted T beams (fig. 4.1 e, 4.1f)
- U beams, V beams (fig. 4.1 g, h)
Cast in situ concrete

a)

b)

c)

d)

e)

f)

g)

h)

Figure 4.1.1 Bridge elements.

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The following sub types of decks result:

Cast in situ slab

Precast slab (or formwork)

Figure 4.1.2 Bridge Decks. Precast beams, completed by a cast in place concrete topping

Figure 4.1.3 Isostatic precast I beams bridge in Spain.

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Insitu slab

Precast beam

a)

Insitu slab

Precast beam

b)

Figure 4.1.4 One or more U beams, completed by cast in place topping

Figure 4.1.5 Precast Box beams bridge in Spain.

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connections

view
cast in-situ slab

precast beam

cross section

Fig. 4.1.6. segmental beams, completed by cast in place topping

Figure 4.1.7 Variable depth box beams bridge in Spain.

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a)

Transverse reinforcement

Precast elements

Transverse reinforcement

b)

Precast elements

Fig 4.1.8. Infilled precast beams

Fig 4.1.9. Precast box elements without topping

Fig 4.1.10. Precast box elements without topping in Holand


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4.1.2. - Solid slabs


Decks formed by precast slabs on the entire span, having longitudinal shear keys,
completed by cast on site topping or postensioned transversally. Solid slabs are usually used
on minor spans.

Figure 4.1.11 Partially precast slabs


4.1.3. - Precast piers and crosshead.
4.1.3.1. Piers and crossheads in portal frame
- Solid crosshead
- Hollow crosshead
- Crosshead formed by two walls

Figure 4.1.12 Precast Piers and I beam in Spain.

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4.1.3.2. Single pier


1. Box beam with single support
- Prismatic
- Prism trunk
- With column head
2. Box beam with double support
- Hammer
- Palm or/and Y
- Solid prismatic block
- Frame

Figure 4.1.13 Precast single pier and box beams in Spain.


3. With hollow crosshead, for beam double T, launder or caisson
- Single pier
- Dowels joined in height

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Figure 4.1.14 Precast single Pier for I beams in Spain.


4.1.3.3. Pile pier, raymond piles

Cast on site
foundation

Figure 4.1.15 Precast piers and crosshead


4.1.4. - Precast abutments
In some cases precast elements are used to form bridge abutments. The elements are full
height, modular width, and usually have, on the buried side, one or more webs from the top to
the foundation. The resisting section is thus shaped as a T or . For mayor heights a precast
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tie can be used to form a truss structure. The elements are placed on site near each other and
are completed by cast on site foundations and a top beam.

Cast in situ top beam


Precast abutment

Cast in situ footing

Figure 4.1.16 Precast abutments

Figure 4.1.17. Precast Abutment and wall in Spain.


4.1.5. - Precast arches or vaults
The vaults are of curved or poligonal guideline structures of different types:
Domed structures with more than two elements. These have an arch supported on two
curved side walls that are fixed to a raft foundation or directly supported on the ground with
precast strip footings incorporated to the precast piece.
Domed structures with two elements which are composed of two curved lateral walls.
Domed structures with one element, with the bottom slab built into the precast or in-situ
element.
According to its functional scheme, they can be divided in several types:
I.- An arch simply supported on two side walls connected by a bottom slab.
II.- An arch simply supported on two side walls supported on two isolated footings.
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III.- Domed structure with two elements, commonly known as triarticulated. The
connection to the foundations is a simple articulation; the foundations can be a bedplate or a
footing .
IV.- Domed structure of an element which can be fixed to the foundations or biarticulated.
The different elements are usually of reinforced concrete, with rectangular section or
ribbed section. The aspect from inside the passage is usually plain, although there may be
solutions in which the lateral walls are ribbed inside (particularly in the second type of
structure with large clearances). The arches generally have a rectangular section, although for
large spans (L>10 metres) are usually ribbed. In the case of vaults with two elements, the
support points may be raised with some walls to give more clearance.
Multi-arch passages may be achieved by making two vaults share the same foot or wall

Wing wall

Precast collar wall

Wing wall

Precast concrete
Arch elements

Continuous cast in place


concrete footing

Figure 4.1.18 Example of precast concrete arch structure

Figure 4.1.19 Precast arch structure in Spain.


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4.2.

Isostatic bridges

This chapter is mainly concerned with bridge decks constructed using factory made
prestressed concrete bridge beams and designed isostatically with simple supports.
The beams are generally used as follows:a) Beam and slab decks prestressed beams positioned at centres and connected with a
cast in-situ reinforced concrete deck slab.
b) Solid infill decks prestressed beams positioned contiguously and encased in cast insitu concrete such that a solid deck is formed. Transverse reinforcement is positioned through
holes in the webs of the prestressed beams. The in-situ concrete generally covers the tops of
the beams by approximately 75mm allowing the positioning of a top mesh cover down.
Beam and slab decks are popular in the span range of 20 40m and solid infill decks are
popular in the smaller span range of less than 20m.
From the early days of prestressed bridge beam manufacture it was considered logical to
design bridge decks as simply supported and with end joints. Joints were incorporated
between intermediate spans and between end spans and abutments.
Beams would be erected onto individual bearings one at each beam end and the joints
would be dimensioned to allow thermal movement of the concrete within the bridge decks.
Isostatic bridge design also suited the nature of prestressed concrete bridge beams in that
deformities due to creep , shrinkage and temperature could occur in relative isolation. In the
same way, differential settlement of deck supports was easily accommodated.
Many thousands of bridges have been built as described, and the bridge beams have
proved highly durable.
The main reasons for the high durability are as follows:
- The consistent use of high strength, low water/cement ratio concrete.
- The prestress design providing an absence of cracking under working loads.
- An almost guaranteed provision of specified concrete cover to secondary reinforcement
(links).
Although the beams themselves have proved highly successful, there are disadvantages
inherent in simply supported deck design.
Bearings, as previously stated, are generally required at each end of each beam. They are
costly and eventually have to be replaced.
However, the main problem with simply supported deck design is that of the joints. This
problem became apparent following the practice of using de-icing salt on the road/bridge
surfacing in winter. The salt solution was then able to penetrate the joints in the bridge decks
and corrode the bearings and the concrete support structure.
Good detailing at the tops of piers and abutments can help delay the onset of this
corrosion. The following are examples:
- The provision of means of inspection (and replacement) of bearings.
- The provision of drainage channels for removal of water (fig. 4.2.1).
- The provision of access/inspection galleries at abutments (fig. 4.2.2).

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However, it was realised that the best solution to de-icing salt penetration would be the
elimination of all joints within the bridge deck.
The elimination of joints between intermediate decks would require continuous bridges.
The elimination of joints between the intermediate decks and also between end spans and
abutments would require integral bridges.

Fig 4.2.1 Drainage channel

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180
0
10
00

Fig 4.2.2 Access gallery

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4.3.

Partial continuity bridges

Partial continuity is a method of providing continuity between intermediate bridge decks


such that no distribution of vertical load effects between the intermediate bridge decks occurs.
This applies to all vertical loads dead, superimposed dead and live.
Two methods of providing partial continuity in beam and slab decks will be described.
A third method, providing notional continuity is also described.

Typical features:
1.
2.
3.

Separate bearings and diaphragms are provided for each span


Deck slab is separated from support beams for a short length to provide rotational flexibility
There is no continuity reinforcement between ends of beams and there is no moment continuity between
spans

Figure 4.3.1 Partial Continuity detail type 1 Continuous separate slabs


This continuity detail confines itself to the deck slab only, which flexes to accommodate
the rotations of the simply supported deck beams. The beams are erected in the conventional
manner onto individual bearings.
To permit this flexure, the deck slab is separated from the support beams for a length of
about 1.5m by a layer of compressible material.
In-situ reinforced concrete diaphragms may be located at the ends of the separated slab.

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Typical features:
1. The tie reinforcement at mid-depth of the slab is debonded for a short length either side of the joint to permit
deck rotation. There is no moment continuity between spans.
2. Slabs between spans are separated using compressible joint fillers but deck waterproofing and deck
surfacing are continuous and special seals are provided over the joint for double protection.
3. Separate bearings and end diaphragms are provided for each span.

Figure 4.3.2 Continuity detail type 2 Tied deck slab


The bridge decks are designed and constructed in the conventional multispan simply
supported manner with slab trimmer diaphragms at the beams ends. As with type 1, the beam
ends are carried on two parallel rows of bearings on the piers.
Long connecting reinforcement dowels are incorporated at the slab mid-depth to tie the
slabs together over the pier, eliminating expansion movement at deck level and permitting the
use of a buried deck rotation joint. To accommodate this rotation, the dowels are debonded
and sleeved from the surrounding slab concrete over short lengths either side of the joint.
Also, the slab and trimmer beam downstands are necked using compressible joint filler
below and above the dowel connection.
Types 1 and 2 continuity are the logical extension to providing simply supported decks
with continuity. They offer the minimum of extra design and construction effort.

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4.4.

Structural continuity bridges

Typical features:
1.
2.
3.

Beams are erected on temporary supports generally off pier foundations


Permanent bearings are in single line
Continuity reinforcement is provided in the slab and at the top and bottom of bridge beams.
The lapping of reinforcement is normally not difficult.

Figure 4.4.1 Continuity detail type 3 Wide in situ integral crosshead


This type of continuity detail uses prestressed beams significantly shorter than the spans
between support piers. The beams are usually supported on temporary trestles built off the
pier foundations. The wide in-situ integral crosshead over the pier is then cast between and
around the beams to provide about 1m embedment. Longitudinal continuity is accomplished
by reinforcement within the continuous composite deck slab, generally supplemented by
reinforcement, and pretensioning strand extending from the top and bottom of the embedded
beams. Transverse strength is provided by either prestressing tendons or reinforcement, some
of which may pass through holes in the ends of the precast beams. The crosshead is
supported on a single row of bearings set centrally on the pier.
Although more complex to design and more expensive to construct than any of the other
methods, type 3 continuity offers more advantages.
Plan curvature can be readily accommodated by varying the width of the integral
crosshead to form a plan trapezium shape. This permits the use of a standard length beam per
span.
Vertical curvature problems can be reduced by vertically curving the top and bottom
surfaces of the crosshead. This reduces the increased slab thickness at midspan required to
take up the vertical curvature above the straight chorded precast beams.
A single central row of bearings is required. This immediately halves the number of
bearings required for simply supported construction, although individual bearing size will
increase.
Piers are thinner, not only because a single line of bearings takes up less room at the pier
top, but because the dead and live load moments applied to the piers by off centre pairs of
bearings are removed.

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Full width piers are not required. The integral crosshead can be designed to allow
considerable deck cantilevering outside the pier. This also provides a further reduction in the
number of bearings.

Typical features:
1.
2.
3.

Temporary supports are not required


Permanent bearings may be in single or twin line
Continuity reinforcement is provided in the slab and at the bottom of bridge beams
The lapping of reinforcement is difficult.

Figure 4.4.2 Continuity detail type 4 Narrow in situ integral crosshead


The prestressed beams are long enough to be erected onto two parallel rows of temporary
or permanent bearings on the pier tops. The in-situ integral crosshead over the pier is then
cast between and around the beams to provide about 1m embedment. The crosshead is,
however, narrower than type 1 because of the small gap between the beams. This same
narrow gap makes adequate bottom flange reinforcement connection difficult between beams.
Longitudinal hogging bending continuity is again readily established by top reinforcement
within and extending well into the continuous composite deck slab. Transverse strength of
the crosshead is generally provided for by reinforcement, some of which passes through holes
in the ends of the beams.
Where twin rows of temporary bearings are used, a central row of permanent bearings
located under the crosshead is brought into use by removing the temporary bearings after the
crosshead concrete has gained sufficient strength. Some examples use a wide single
permanent rubber bearing which acts as a seating for both beams.
This type of continuity is relatively easier to construct than type 3 but cannot offer the
advantages of extra span or curvature.
The greatest advantage lies in the ease of beam erection directly onto the pier bearings.
Nevertheless, adequate connection between bottom flange reinforcement is difficult.

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Typical features:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Beams are supported on stage 1 crosshead during erection.


Crosshead to be monolithic with pier
Crosshead soffit is normally lower than beam soffit
Reinforcement is similar to types 1 and 2 depending on the cross-section of the stage 1 crosshead.

Figure 4.4.3 Continuity detail type 5 Integral crosshead cast in two stages
This type of continuity detail is a variant of types 3 and 4 where the integral crosshead is
cast in two stages. The crosshead is of greater depth than the main deck beams and the
bottom section is cast first to support these beams, generally on thin mortar beds.
The second stage cast completes the integral crosshead in the manner described for type 3.
The advantage of this type of continuity is the complete elimination of bearings.
The disadvantage is that the downstand half of the crosshead is obstructive, both
aesthetically and in terms of headroom.
Type 5 continuity is also described as framed construction in that the piers are monolithic
with the deck and consequently contribute with the moment distribution.

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Figure 4.4.4 Continuous precast rectangular beams bridge in Germany.

Figure 4.4.5 Detail of Continuity of precast rectangular beams bridge in Germany.

Figure 4.4.6. Detail of Continuity of precast rectangular beams bridge in Germany.

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Figure 4.4.7. Continuous precast rectangular beams bridge in Germany.

Figure 4.4.8. Continuous precast rectangular beams bridge in Germany.

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Figure 4.4.9. Continuous precast I beams bridge in France.

Figure 4.4.10 Continuous precast I beams bridge in France.

Figure 4.4.11 Continuous precast I beams bridge in France.

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Figure 4.4.12 Continuous precast Box beams bridge and Piers in Spain.

Figure 4.4.13 Continuous precast Box beams bridge and Piers in Spain.

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Figure 4.4.14 Continuous precast Box beams bridge and Piers in Spain.

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4.5.

Integral bridges

Integral bridges are designed with no expansion joints neither between adjacent
intermediate spans nor between end spans and abutments.
Chapters 5 and 6 have described various methods of deck continuity whether partial or
structural.
This chapter describes the various types of integral abutments and associated design
issues. In the same way that bridge decks can be continuous over intermediate supports but
still require bearings, it is possible for there to be no expansion joints at abutments and
bearings still be provided. This type of construction is referred to as semi-integral and is
particularly suited to prestressed beam bridges in that the bearings eliminate the problems
associated with moment continuity and rotation due to creep and thermal effects.
Abutments of integral bridges are attached to the bridge, and so have to move horizontally
in response to temperature fluctuations in the bridge. The abutments must be designed to
allow this movement to occur, at the same time as being able to resist longitudinal traffic
loads. The design of integral abutments involves different considerations from the design of
conventional fixed abutments. Similarly, the design of integral abutments for bridges built
using prestressed concrete bridge beams also requires special considerations which do not
arise in integral bridges using other forms of construction.
Various types of integral and semi-integral abutments are shown in Figure 4.5.1
Some countries recommend a limit to the overall length and skew of bridges designed
integrally. (U.K. maximum overall length = 60m, maximum skew = 30).
In America, integral bridges have been designed and constructed successfully to overall
lengths in excess of 200m.

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....

Figure 4.5.1 Integral abutments

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4.6.

Segmental bridges

A segmental deck is a structure formed by a number of precast segments having a length


of the same order of magnitude as the depth of the deck, connected together by joints
transverse to the direction of the span (fig. 4.6.1). The performance of the joints between
elements influences the way the structure works, there being discontinuity in the passive
reinforcement.

Figure 4.6.1 Precast segment


4.6.1 Joints
The joints between segments may be provided in three ways:
Mortar joints:
a mortar joint is provided with a width of several centimetres.
Glued joints:
joints where, before closure, a layer of epoxy or other synthetic resin is
applied on the surface.
Dry joints:
joints where there is no material between the segments in contact. Such
type of joint is not covered by this Standard.
There are some conditioning factors related to the use of each type of joint:
a) In case of mortar joints, the postensioning cannot be applied until the mortar has
reached sufficient strength;
b) Glued joints require that adjacent concrete surface match.This is generally achieved by
using as mould the surface of the adjacent segment (method of match casting).
4.6.2 Keys
The joint between segments has to be capable to transmit forces parallel to its plan: shear
and torsion.
In order to increase the capacity of load transmission salient shear keys can be provided.
The keys may be of a large size in small quantities or multiple and of a small size (the
latter is preferred).
The single keys are designed as short brackets in order to transmit the total shear, while
the multiple keys are not reinforced and the shear transmission capacity is checked using an
enhanced coefficient of friction.

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4.7.

Special bridges

Besides normal precast bridges with beams, there are also other possibilities for bridges, like
arch, external postensioning or the use of struts for long span bridges.

Figure 4.7.1 Precast Arch bridge in Spain.

Figure 4.7.2 Precast bridge with external postensioning in Spain.

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Figure 4.7.3 Precast bridge with side cantilevers and single pier in Spain.

Figure 4.7.4 Precast bridge with inclined struts.

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Figure 4.7.5 Precast bridge with external postensioning.

Figure 4.7.6 Precast Wing bridge

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Figure 4.7.7 Precast variable depth elements bridge

Figure 4.7.8 Precast curved beams bridge

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4.8.

Cable stayed bridges

It is possible to use stays to reach longer spans in the construction of precast bridges.
Spans up to 400 metres can be achieved by building with precast decks in cable stayed
bridges.
Precast decks can be designed for two planes of stays with a box girder under each plane
of stays. It is also possible to design a deck with a single plane of stays with one or two box
girders joined by a transverse beam at each anchorage of the stays.
For shorter spans, up to 120 metres, other kind of bridges can be designed. Bridges
supported with extradosed prestressing or with additional struts.

Figure 4.8.1 Precast cable stayed bridge in Germany.

Figure 4.8.2 Precast cable stayed bridge in Germany. Detail.

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Figure 4.8.3 Centenario Precast cable stayed bridge in Spain.

Figure 4.8.3 Centenario Precast cable stayed bridge in Spain. Detail.

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5.

Aesthetics

References should be made mainly to fib-Guide to good practice (bulletin No. 9, Guidance
to good bridge design, July 2000), chapter 1.4.2. [5.1]
Amendments are required for some specific aspects of precast bridges:
Decisions in favour of or against a design with precast elements should not be based only
on technical and economical reasons. They result very often from prejudices and a thorough
investigation proves frequently that the differences in pure construction cost are only small.
Average figures are nearly identical for precast and in-situ structures: as an example one
can assume that for a bridge with slenderness l/h 20 the following values per m are to be
taken into account:
* Concrete: 0,50 m, Prestressing Steel: 15 kg, Steel S500: 70 kg.
* Cost for transport and erection comply mostly with cost for scaffolding.
Economical advantages can be achieved when other aspects are taken into account:
* existing traffic (road or rail) which does not allow the placing of scaffolding at the
required area and which would require additional costly measures like moving or
lifting of structure into final position
* erection of new structures for existing traffic which allows only very short
interruptions
* unfavourable soil conditions in between the abutments
* reduction of construction time
* construction is rather independent from unfavourable weather conditions
* economical advantages due to rate of capacity utilisation at the manufacturer
The only seeming disadvantage of precast girder bridge decks is the fact that the surface is
often considerably larger than for an in-situ design. However this is compensated by
substantial higher density and quality of the outer concrete shell which leads to a better
durability and a longer expected service life.
The options for aesthetic detailing are a little bit more limited when precast elements are
used.
[5.1]: The rules for proportions, transparency, slenderness, unity and harmony are valid
for all bridge structures be they in-situ or precast.
There are however many possibilities to influence the design in a positive manner:
* Careful attention must be given to the design of details and secondary elements. The
slenderness con be accented by painting the rim of the corbels in a bright warm colour and
leaving the web of the beams in a dark colour.
* Other alternatives are shown in slides No. 14 and 15. There are examples where the
outer edge beam became special shape to accent the slenderness
The layout of the beams can nowadays easily be curved in order to follow the gradient of
the road. Special attention must be given to some aspects in the design and erection of these
beams, but by solving these problems allows precast bridges to be more competitive in use.
The intermediate support of continuous precast bridges is an important problem which
must be handled with special attention. Its functional detailing leads to unpleasant and clumsy
details at bearings and at the intersection between main beam and crossbeam.
In urban areas acoustic barriers are often added to the bridge. This sound absorption walls
can dominate the appearance of the structure. Therefore it is essential to know in time of these
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measures. The detailing of the structure can only be successful and sensible if the final view is
taken into consideration.
Example of shaped edge beam: (principle):

painted with
bright colour

Fig 5.1 Precast bridge in Spain

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Fig 5.2 Precast bridge in Spain

Fig 5.3 Precast bridge in France


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Fig 5.4 Precast bridge in France

Fig 5.5 Precast bridge in Germany

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Fig 5.6 Precast bridge in Holand.

Fig 5.7 Precast bridge in Holand.

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Fig 5.8 Precast bridge in Holand.

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6. Design
6.1.

Specific Aspects

The integral advantage of the combination precast + high quality materials require the
clarification of many specific regulations. Between them should be appointed:
* II.1.
* II.2.
* II.3.
* II.4.
* II.5.

Values of c and f to apply in the case of precast members.


Contribution of the concrete to the strength to shear at the interface in function
of the fatigue level.
Influence of the form and position of the connection reinforcement for shear at
the interface.
Strength of compressed struts at shear, especially with HPC.
Transfer length of tendons with HPC.

As in any other structural typology, the development of prefabricated bridges is hindered,


in a way, by the need to solve problems via research, which delays the extension of the use of
such solutions.
In our case, attention should be drawn to the following.
a) Obviously, in the case of the manufacture of bending members, the fundamental part
of prefabricated bridges, prefabrication affords higher quality than cast-in-situ execution in
many respects.
- Cutting, bending and placing reinforcement bars and tendons.
- Low pouring height together with very powerful concrete compaction procedures.
- Extraordinarily efficient curing systems.
All this means, in short, that the quality of the members, in particular bending members, is
much higher in prefabrication than in most cases of cast-in-situ execution.
Since, broadly speaking, under the deterministic approach the bending safety factor is
expressed by the equation
s = k s f

where k is a coefficient that varies very little from one in the case of prestressing, the only
way to establish a suitable procedure to reward the highest prefabrication quality is,
obviously, to make it truly dependent on the load factor f by means of the quality control to
which the structure is subject.
The idea frequently invoked to simply reduce the c coefficient entails a more
psychological than actual reward. The reduction of the c coefficient, indeed, only rewards
cases as columns or where compression on struts is limited in the event of shear, but in all
other respects its importance for bending members is essentially negligible. It is only by
reducing the f coefficient that an appropriate balance between the different execution
procedures can be re-established, at least as long as the present semi-probabilistic systems
continue to be used.
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b) The limitation on compressed struts had evolved pessimistically in recent years in the
Model Code as well as in the successive versions of the Eurocodes, both with respect to the
regulations dealing with concrete in general and those relating to precast concrete in
particular.
Recent research (1) has shown that such reductions were unwarranted: Fortunately, new
proposals to revise Eurocode EC-2 have re-established a more realistic solution.
c) The anchoring conditions for prestressed tendons, especially in high strength concrete,
need to be analysed in greater depth, not only to establish the transfer length but to provide for
a more accurate evaluation of the distribution of stress throughout the transfer zone to
improve shear stress studies in these areas of members.

The shear strength of conection with in situ slab is 25% to 33% higher in b) than in a)
Fig. 6.1.1.
d) The shear interface problem calls for supplementary research in two directions. On the
one hand the use of normal strength cast-in-situ concrete in conjunction with high strength
prefabricated members will become more and more frequent, which places special demands
on engineering for shear at the interface.
Secondly, the present forms of computing the contribution of the connection
reinforcement between cast-in-situ and precast concrete take account of the ratio of the area of
reinforcement only. However, the way these bars are bent and placed has a substantial effect
on shear strength and should be lent more attention in future (Fig. 6.1.1)

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6.2.

Details

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6.3.

Durability

6.3.1. Introduction
Durability is the capability of a structure, assembly or component to maintain minimum
performance and adequate levels of stability and serviceability over at least a specified time
under the influence of degradation factors with anticipated maintenance but without excessive
unforeseen maintenance.
The requirement of an adequately durable structure is met if, throughout its required life, a
structure fulfils its function with respect to serviceability, strength and stability without
significant loss of utility.
Durability of concrete bridges is mainly governed by the quality of materials. The quality
of the concrete, the bearings, the joints and the sealing of the surface are the essential parts
which together determin the length of the service life.
At present the codes do not explicitly ask for the definition of the required lifetime of a
structure. Generally the overall durability, as defined above, depends of the intended use of
the structure together with load specifications.
In some countries maintenance programmes are set up for bridges. These programs form
part of the requirements for durability. They are regulated in specific codes other than design
codes and aim at the minimisation of maintenance during life time of the structures. Thorough
knowledge of degradation mechanism in a structure which could develop to future failure is
essential to secure serviceablity and to reduce cost due to developing faults.
Durability may be affected both by direct actions and also by consequential indirect
effects inherent in the performance of the structure (e.g. deformations, cracking, water
absorption, etc.). The possible significance of both direct and indirect effects is to be
considered.
The load-bearing capacity of bridges can be violated by the degradation of concrete and
reinforcement. Therefore bridges (and all other structures) must be designed in a way that the
minimum safety level is secured during the intended service life despite degradation and
ageing of materials.
As long as systematic durability design methods are still missing and common rules are
not yet available as design tools, the general approach is to observe border conditions to
improve performance of the structure and its components to avoid unexpected and premature
failure.
These stipulations are met when specific design rules, special quality demands for
materials, material compositions, working conditions, structural dimensions etc. are observed.
Durability calculations which could result in the use of modified safety factors in combination
with traditional mechanical design will be developed in the future [1]. Until these methods are
available durability design has to ensure a high standard of all parameters which could
influence service life of the structure in general.
To ensure an adequately durable structure, the following inter-related factors are to be
considered:
* Degradation Factors
* Influence Of Environmental Conditions
* Composition, Properties And Performance Of The Materials
* Shape Of Members And The Structural Detailing
* Quality Of Workmanship, And Level Of Control
* Particular Protective Measures
* Maintenance During The Intended Life.
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6.3.2. Degradation Factors


The following factors may have negative long-term effects on the load-bearing capacity of
concrete structures:
* corrosion due to chloride penetration
* corrosion due to carbonation
* mechanical abrasion
* salt weathering
* surface deterioration
* frost attack
For reinforced concrete, corrosion protection for any type of reinforcement is provided by
taking care of the following aspects:
Concrete Stress conditions: Compliance e.g. with the requirements contained in the clause
4.4.1 of the ENV 1992-1-1.
Excessive compressive stresses in concrete may promote the formation of cracks.
Steel stress conditions: Compliance e.g. with the requirements in the clause 4.4.2 of the
ENV 1992-1-1 results in limitation of cracks under SLS.
To avoid complex crack-width calculations the following simplification is often used:
Concrete stresses calculated at the uncracked section must not exceed the value b:
b 0,463 2WN (b and WN in MN/m).
In cross-sections in reinforced concrete (e.g. webs or base plates for transverse flexural
loading) the transverse flexural-tensile stresses (calculated in accordance as uncracked
section) may not exceed the values of b either.
6.3.3. Influence of Environmental Conditions
Environment, in this context, means those chemical and physical actions, to which the
structure as a whole, the individual elements, and the concrete itself is exposed, and which
results in effects not included in the loading conditions considered in structural design.
Durability parameters:
* depth of deterioration of concrete and corrosion of reinforcement
* concrete cover
* diameter of rebars
* Factors to be taken into account:
* strength of concrete
* permeability of concrete
* type of cement
* curing method
* type of reinforcemenet
* structural dimensions
For values of concrete cover and acceptable crack-width reference could be made to
design codes e.g. ENV 1992-1-1.
6.3.4. Composition, Properties and Performance of Materials
Material must comply with the requirements of appropriate international or national
standards. The choice of materials takes account of the environmental conditions including
any aggressive actions. These should be considered in conjunction with other factors such as
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design and detailing, standards of workmanship and construction, and intended maintenance
regimes - to produce the required level of intended maintenance regimes - to produce the
required level of performance for the structure throughout its service life.
Standard values can generally be increased by an allowance (h) for tolerances, which for
precast elements may be assumed in the range 0 h 5 mm depending on the standard of
workmanship and quality control.
In some countries the values for concrete cover may be reduced when prefabrication in a
factory is ensured.
6.3.5. Shape of Members and Structural Detailing
Early in the design process, the effects and possible significance of the environmental
conditions is to be considered in relation to the durability requirements.
Reference should be made to the design criteria in point 3 above and to the requirements
for concrete cover to reinforcement in point 4.
Other factors to be considered in design and detailing, in order to achieve the required
level of performance, should include the following aspects:
the adoption of a structural form which will minimise the uptake of water or exposure to
moisture.
the size, shape and design details of exposed elements or structures should be such as to
promote good drainage and to avoid run off or standing pools of water. Care should be taken
to minimise any cracks that may collect or transfer water. In the presence of cracks across a
complete section, additional protective measures (coated bars, coatings, etc.)may be
necessary.
for the drain of the deck slab surface, the sealing surface must be detailed carefully.
attention in design and detailing, to the different aspects of indirect effects.
Expansion joints between bridge decks can seriously effect the long term durability of the
structure. They can lead to serious corrosion of the r.c. elements of the deck and substructure
due to leakage of salt solution through the joints.
Several methods of eliminating joints in continuous decks are acceptable.
6.3.6. Quality of Workmanship and Level of Control
The standard of workmanship on site shall be such as to ensure that the required durability
of the structure will be obtained. The combination of materials and procedures used in
making, placing and curing the concrete shall be such as to achieve satisfactory resistance to
aggressive media for both concrete and steel.
During construction, adequate measures shall be taken, by means of supervision and
quality control, to ensure that the required properties of the materials and standards of
workmanship are achieved.
Quality Control:
An other important factor to ensure the obtaining of the required durability is the quality
control in the different phases of the construction.
7. Protective Measures
In addition to all the facts that must be considered to ensure the required durability, other
protective measures should also be taken into account.
Sealing: Joints between precast elements must be sealed.
Tendons placed in sheaths or ducts in the concrete, couplers and anchorage device shall be
protected against corrosion.
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Should the delay between stressing and grouting exceed the time permitted, then
protection of the tendons shall continue until grouting takes place.
Where temporary protection is provided, the material used shall have an approval
document and shall not have a deleterious effect on the prestressing steel or on the cement
grout.
Written instructions shall be provided for the site or the works for the preparation and
execution of the grouting.
It frost is liable to occur, measures shall be taken to prevent freezing of water in sheaths
which are not yet grouted. After a period of frost, the sheaths should be free from ice before
grouting is started.
Tendons may be protected by materials based on bitumen, epoxy resins, rubber, etc.,
provided that there are not detrimental effects on bond, fire resistance, and other essential
properties.
6.3.8. Control and Maintenance of the Completed Structure.
A planned control programme should specify the control measures (inspections) to be
carried out in service where long term compliance with the basic requirements for the project
is not adequately ensured.
All the information required for the structures utilisation in service and its maintenance
should be made available to the person who assumes responsibility for the complete structure.

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6.4.

Seismic Aspects

6.4.1.Objectives, requirements and confeormity criteria


6.4.1.1. Objectives
With respect to bridges, national policies for prevention of accidents associated with major
hazards such as earthquakes involve ensuring the acceptability of the risk of failures that
would interrupt traffic. This acceptability is assessed in terms of the socio-economic
repercussions of such failures.
Emergency transport must be maintained with an appropriate degree of reliability after the
design seismic event has occurred.
The design seismic event depends on local seismicity and other contingencies.
6.4.1.2. Requirements
National Authorities can define two fundamental requirements for different kinds of
structures, depending on the possible consequences of their collapse.
a) No-collapse requirement (ultimate limit state)
After occurrence of the design seismic event, the bridge must retain its structural integrity
and adequate residual load bearing capacity. It must be capable of accepting damage
(intended to help dissipate energy) during the earthquake and be able to carry emergency
traffic and be inspected and repaired as required. Formation of plastic hinges in the piers is
generally acceptable, but is prohibited in the deck which must also be fitted with devices to
prevent it coming off its supports under the effect of extreme seismic displacement.
b)Damage limitation requirement (serviceability limit state)
Seismic action with a high probability of occurrence during the design service lifetime of
the bridge must cause nothing more than minor damage to the parts of the structure designed
to help dissipate energy during the seismic event, and engender neither traffic restrictions nor
a need for immediate repair.
6.4.1.3. Conformity criteria
The criteria aimed at explicitly meeting the no-collapse requirement implicitly cover the
damage limitation requirement.
a) Intended seismic behaviour
Bridges must be designed to be ductile (inelastic behaviour) or have limited ductility
(essentially elastic behaviour) under their design seismic actions.
For both economic and safety reasons it is preferable to design bridges to have ductile
behaviour in zones of moderate to high seismicity. This is achieved by ensuring that plastic
flexural hinges are formed (normally in the piers, and normally accessible for inspection and
repair) to dissipate energy, or by using isolation systems. Tall piers are generally designed to
remain in the elastic range. Generally speaking, the bridge deck must also remain in the
elastic range.
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b) Capacity design
The capacity design method involves ranking the energy-dissipation zones and is aimed at
ensuring the formation of flexural plastic hinges in the piers.
The shear strength of the plastic hinges and the shear and flexural strength of all other
regions must be checked in order to avoid any risk of brittle failure and to guarantee the
elastic behaviour of standard areas.
The capacity design method is used for bridges with ductile behaviour. For bridges with
limited ductility the method is not indispensable, and the conventional design process for
sections under seismic loading can be used.
c) Connections and displacement control
Equivalent linear analysis methods must be capable of determining the displacements
engendered by the design seismic action with an appropriate degree of accuracy. For members
with plastic hinges (this does not concern bridge decks), the secant stiffness at the theoretical
elastic limit is generally adopted.
Connections between supporting members (piers) and supported members (deck) must be
designed appropriately so as to ensure structural integrity and to prevent unseating as a result
of extreme seismic displacement.
To ensure satisfactory overall ductility, structural and non-structural detailing must ensure
appropriate behaviour of the bridge and its component parts, and appropriate clearances must
be provided to protect important or critical structural members. These clearances must
correspond to the calculated total displacement under the effect of seismic conditions:
dEd

= dE + dG dTs

where:
dE is the design seismic displacement
dG is the long-term displacement due to permanent and quasi-permanent actions
(shrinkage and creep)
dTs is the displacement due to thermal movement for a representative value, T s, of
temperature variation considered to be appropriate for the combination with seismic effects. It
can be assumed that dTs is 40% of the maximum thermal movement.
Displacements due to second-order effects are to be added if they make a significant
contribution.
Protection must be provided against major impacts caused by exceptional pounding
between members of major structural importance, by using ductile members or dampers. The
clearance in these elements must be at least the displacement dEd.
At connections in rail bridges, differential transverse displacements must be either
prevented or limited to appropriate values in order to prevent derailments.
6.4.2. Design principles
6.4.2.1. General design of the project
Consideration of seismic effects is important right at the conceptual design stage, even for
regions of low seismicity.

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Choosing ductile behaviour is generally appropriate in areas of moderate to high


seismicity. In this case, the following factors generally need to be taken into account:
Choose piers and abutments to withstand seismic forces in the longitudinal and transverse
directions.
Greater deformability reduces the level of the design seismic action but increases
movements at joints and deformable supports, which can induce substantial second-order
effects.
In the case of continuous-deck bridges, where the transversal stiffness of the abutments
and the shorter piers adjacent to them is great relative to that of the other piers, it may be
preferable to use deformable bearings or bearings sliding transversally on top of the
abutments and short piers.
The locations of energydissipation systems must be carefully chosen to ensure they are
accessible for inspection and repair.
With exceptionally long bridges or bridges on heterogeneous soils, it will be necessary to
decide on the number and locations of intermediate expansion joints.
With bridges spanning potentially active tectonic faults, the probable discontinuity of
ground displacements will generally have to be assessed and taken into account by means of
structural flexibility or by appropriate layout of expansion joints.
6.4.2.2. Bridge site
Bridges should not be sited near (less than 500 m) an active fault where earthquakes are
particularly violent and poorly represented by the regulatory spectra.
The bridge site can be called into question if it is discovered that there is a risk of
liquefaction of the subsoil. If the site cannot be changed, it is vital that the bridge be founded
on soils of appropriate characteristics beneath the liquefiable soils, and that adequate drainage
be provided.
6.4.2.3. Distribution of spans Location of supports
The location of supports and the distribution of spans must be based on classical analysis
of the gap, taking account of the following particularities.
Span uplift :
If the end spans are short (0.5 to 0.6 times the length of adjacent spans) and cannot be
made longer, the end crossbeams on the abutments can be ballasted, or a hold-down device
can be provided. End spans should systematically be extended in the case of highly skewed
bridges (<70 grades).
Balanced spans:
Bridges with symmetrical spans and support systems have better seismic behaviour. Every
effort should be made to limit the distance between the centre of mass of the deck and the
centre of elastic stiffness of the supports. For a straight bridge, when this distance is zero, the
deck and supports undergo no rotation about their vertical axis.
Skew of decks:
The possibility of the deck pounding against the abutments is a major risk for skew
bridges. Special seismic stops must be used to secure the structure, by directing impact forces
parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bridge and thus preventing the deck sliding off its
abutments. The behaviour of highly skewed bridges (<70 grades) under vertical seismic
movement must be studied by special finite-element analysis. The design of the supports must
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also be specially studied from the seismic-risk viewpoint. The choice of connections between
the deck and the piers and abutments is the major factor to be considered by the designer.
Deck:
The seismic behaviour of bridge decks and integral precast underpasses (box culverts,
buried portals) generally falls in the elastic (or quasi-elastic) range and therefore poses no
particular problem.
In order to ensure sound mechanical behaviour in an earthquake, the design of standard
bridge decks, on the other hand, must take certain arrangements into account:
Limit displacement of the deck relative to its supports so that it is not unseated. Provide a
sufficiently large bearing surface and, as an ultimate security measure, seismic stops at the
abutments, unless the deck is restrained transversally at the abutments as a matter of course.
Prevent the deck pounding the abutment and piers, or localize impact in a specially
designed area, by means of a sacrificial zone (e.g. expansion joint), so as not to restrict deck
movement during earthquake, or by using an impact-damping zone with a laminated
elastomeric bearing as a transverse and/or longitudinal stop. Care should be taken to ensure
that any impact does not involve sensitive areas (tendon anchorages, for instance).
Prevent brittle failure of any part of the bridge (particularly the bottom of piers) due to
lack of ductility. Prevent buckling of longitudinal reinforcement in compression and ensure
sufficient anchorage length of longitudinal reinforcement.
In highly seismic areas, prestressed concrete bridge decks must have additional checks
performed with respect to the vertical component of earthquakes.
6.4.2.4. Structural choices
a) Bridge decks independent of supports
The criteria regarding choice of the type of bridge are the same as in non-seismic zones,
but consideration of the seismic hazard will deal with the following in particular:
Lightness:
Reducing the weight of bridge decks in order to diminish actions on the supports is only of
interest for slender piers (>15 m).
Mechanical continuity of structures:
Mechanical continuity improves a structures strength and ductility. Deck bridges have to
be made continuous (integral crosshead or continuous separate slabs). Deck segments can be
tied together over several spans. Cantilever spans should be avoided.
Fixing piers to the deck:
Fixing the deck to two piers which are not far apartthus creating a portal framecan be
one sort of seismic design solution in highly seismic zones or where the piers are very high.
This option should be compared with the classical design where the deck is simply supported
on the piers.
b) Underpasses
Integral precast underpasses (box culverts, buried portals) generally display good seismic
behaviour. Taking seismic hazard into consideration makes little change to the design
parameters obtained for the action of regulatory civil loads, except in highly seismic areas.
6.4.3. Choice of bearing type
6.4.3.1 Main objectives
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The main objectives in choosing a bridge bearing for seismic conditions are to limit deck
displacement and to limit forces in the piers and abutments.
Using classical bearings such as laminated elastomeric or pot types which keep the deck
independent of the piers is a conventional design option. Special devices such as dampers are
only justified in exceptional circumstances (they are complex and costly).
Reinforced hinges made by reducing the sectional area of concrete members (Freyssinet
type) are not recommended in seismic zones (limitation of the angle of reaction).
6.4.3.2. Taking account of longitudinal earthquake movement, the main design options are
as follows:
Prefer elastomeric laminated bearing pads for road bridges. Ground movements are
filtered by these bearings which act as soft isolating springs. The deck undergoes quite
considerable movement relative to the ground. If, due to the use of laminated pads, the
periods of vibration of the structure are quite long, the horizontal forces will remain
reasonable.
Restrain displacement of the deck by using fixed bearings or stops on one or more piers.
The horizontal forces will remain reasonable from the moment a high behaviour factor can be
used. Pseudo-elastic analysis assumes the structure to be perfectly elastic, the forces
calculated being divided by the behaviour factor which limits the bending moment by creating
a plastic hinge at the bottom of the pier.
Fix the deck to some of the piers (adjacent and flexible). By creating a portal frame there
is no need for relatively expensive special bearings, and in the case of rail bridges the
displacements due to train startup and braking are also limited.
Restrain the deck at an abutment (rigid) or at a massive pier (for rail bridges only, and
only in areas with low seismicity, because of the considerable forces engendered). Special
bearings have to be installed so that the bridge can have substantial horizontal reactions
relative to the vertical reactions without moving relative to the abutments.
6.4.3.3. Taking account of transverse earthquake movement
For standard bridges less than 15 metres above the ground, it is neither necessary nor
possible to use a behaviour factor since the piers are rigid (pier walls or columns designed for
vehicle impact).
The design will take account of the following points:
Control transverse movement of the bridge on its abutments. This is indispensable when
the deck carries pipes (gas, etc.). The deck must be restrained at all the supports (if possible)
to prevent train derailment.
Avoid rotation of the deck about its vertical axis by (if possible) using the same type of
bearing for piers of similar stiffness, or by installing sliding (or laminated) bearings on the
stiffest piers in order to isolate the deck.
For standard bridges, take the transverse earthquake at the abutments, either by installing
one-way bearings or by installing laminated bearings together with limiting stops.
For short bridges (<40 m) with expansion joints with good transverse behaviour and not
carrying major services, an alternative solution involves using the same kind of transverse
bearing (laminated type) on the piers and abutments, without transversal restraint of the
structure.
In the example in the following figure, transverse seismic action is highly unfavourable
because of the very great transverse stiffness of the abutments and their adjacent piers relative
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to the other piers. In this case it may be preferable to use bearings that deform or slide
transversally at the top of the abutments and the shorter piers.

Figure 6.4.1. Example of irregular bridge (elevation): end piers too short
6.4.3.4 Criteria for choosing between fixed bearings and elastomeric laminated bearings
With respect to forces, choosing the bearing system involves examining the site of the
bridge and the intensity of the earthquake. For sites in moderately seismic zones, isolation of
the structure by elastomeric laminated bearings seems to be the inevitable solution.
Restraining the deck at one or two piers appears to be an interesting solution too, especially if
the piers are designed with a behaviour factor, or in highly seismic zones.
With respect to displacement control, a solution whereby the deck is restrained at its
supports is naturally more effective and merits investigation, particularly in highly seismic
zones or with poor-quality subsoils.
6.4.4. Detailed design
Construction details must be consistent with the way the structure works in an earthquake.
6.4.4.1 Support length
The overlap of the deck on its support must be long enough. The minimum support length
must be sufficient for the support function to be maintained in the event of extreme seismic
displacement. It can be calculated with the following formula:
b = b0 + d + D
where:
b0 is the minimum effective seating length. For standard bridges a length of 30 cm can
be adopted (unless special studies determine otherwise).
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d is the differential displacement of the ground between the barycentre of the fixed
support and the support concerned.
D is the displacement of the deck on the support as a result of seismic combinations.

Figure 6.4.2. Bearing definition.


tablier = deck
culee = abutment
appareil d'appui = bearing
tablier deplace sous seisme = deck displaced by earthquake
appareil d'appui distordu = distorted bearing
6.4.4.2. Stops
Stops can be made of steel or reinforced concrete. They are generally not very ductile.
There are two kinds of stops :
Safety stops designed to prevent the deck leaving its supports while allowing free
distortion of the bearings in response to seismic action.
Limit stops (which also act as safety stops) designed to severely restrict relative
displacement between the deck and its supports due to seismic action.
The faces of the stops must be oriented appropriately to limit rotation of skew bridges
about the vertical axis.
a) Longitudinal stops
In general it is not necessary to install longitudinal safety stops because of the safety
margin contributed by abutment backfill.
Longitudinal limit stops can be envisaged to complement elastomeric laminated bearings
in some rare special cases (e.g. long bridge on piers of the same characteristics for which a
behaviour factor is to be applied). The gap around the stops must be adjusted so as to limit the
effects of impact on the supports.
b) Transverse stops
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Transverse safety or limit stops (for rail bridges) must be provided to limit relative
displacement between the bridge and its supports and to prevent the deck falling.
It is recommended that limit stops be installed on abutments, with a small gap (1 to 2 cm)
which will allow the bridge to work in service and will limit the effects of pounding in an
earthquake.
In the case of a deck whose transverse movement is restricted at two supports, transverse
stops are not generally required on the other supports.

Figure 6.4.3. Support with stops


Tablier = deck
Appareil d'appui = bearing
Bossages d'appui = bearing shims
Appui = support
The figure above shows one possible arrangement. Restraint is obtained by the reinforced concrete tenons on the support
or on the underside of the deck. The tenons overlap each other by about 10 cm. The safety stop so formed works only
transversely.

6.4.4.3. Design of ends of road bridge


The longitudinal movements predicted by the analysis model must not be hindered by the
abutment backwall. For sacrificial joints, preference should be given to fillers such as
sealants or preformed rubber systems. This makes it unnecessary to over-size the abutment
foundations.
It is preferable to use the following solutions, depending on the class of bridge:
If the bridges are to remain usable after the earthquake, it may be appropriate to choose a
solution with fixed bearings on the piers to limit displacements and, consequently, the joint
opening (joints that can withstand ultimate seismic deformation without damage are very
expensive).
If the earthquake-induced displacement of the deck is slight ( 2 cm), it may be possible to
have expansion joints designed for the design seismic event. If the seismic displacement of
the deck is greater, then the expansion joints should be designed with the combination:
"total rated opening" = "service opening" + "seismic opening" / 3
Since some kinds of joints can be slightly damaged if they open more than a standard
rated opening such as this, a modified rated opening could be:
"total rated opening" = "service opening" + "seismic opening" / 6
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The pounding induced by the extreme earthquake must be taken into account in
substantiating pier design. Depending on the relative levels of the run-on slab bracket and
deck seat on the abutment, two solutions could be used:
* Thin decks: sacrificial backwalls above the level of the run-on slab.
* Thick decks: sacrificial expansion joint at the top of the backwall. This involves
applying a bond breaker (paint or polyurethane) to the top of the backwall, then casting a
wedge-shaped block of second-phase concrete onto it. A few galvanized rebars could be
incorporated to resist braking forces.

Figure 6.4.4. sacrificial backwall


Garde-grve fusible = sacrificial backwall
Partie fusible = sacrificial part
Tablier de faible paisseur = thin deck
Tablier de forte paisseur = thick deck
Position conseille de la zone fusible etc= Recommended position for sacrificial
element, depending on deck thickness
Exemple de coin fusible = example of knock-off wedge
6.4.4.4. Design of ends of rail bridge
No special arrangements need be made for the ends of rail bridge decks with an unbroken
length of less than 80 m. However, the gaps between the deck and the abutments should be
made large enough to prevent pounding.
6.4.4.5. Miscellaneous
The system for attaching equipment to the deck (cornices, pipes) and piers (precast
elements) must be designed for the design seismic action to ensure they do not fall off.
To avoid buoyancy in the foundations and approach embankments, which would increase
seismic action, the approaches and the ground behind abutments and the sidewalls of portal
frame and box-section underpasses should be well drained.
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6.4.5. Examples of limiting devices


We show here the arrangements made for the Sale river bridge in Guadeloupe.
BUTEE DE BLOCAGE SENS LONGITUDINAL SUR JOINT DE CHAUSSEE/PILE
VUE EN PLAN
COUPE LONGITUDINALE

BUTEE DE BLOCAGE SENS LONGITUDINAL SUR PILE


VUE EN PLAN
VUE EN PLAN

Figure 6.4.5.
LONGITUDINAL LIMITING STOP AT JOINT/PIER
PLAN VIEW
LONGITUDINAL SECTION
LONGITUDINAL LIMITING STOP ON PIER
PLAN VIEW
PLAN VIEW
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7. Execution
7.1.

Production Process

Execution and site work represents many disciplines to assure quality of precast production.
7.1.1

Formwork and formwork accessories

More or less automated mould change systems are offered by all machine manufacturers,
even if the concept and the function security are indeed different. It offers the possibility of a
complete fully automatic process according to a pre-determined program which needs only to
be supervised but does not require any manual effort.
Formwork has to withstand the pressure resulting from placement and vibration of
concrete and to maintain specified tolerances. Maximum deflections of facing materials etc.
Design calculations for formwork and formwork drawings shall be sealed by a professional
licensed Engineer.
There are differend types of formwork facing materials proposed for smooth or roughform finish. Formwork shall be tight to prevent loss of mortar from concrete and clean and to
maintain a fine surface. Formwork is braced securely against lateral deflection and lateral
instability. To maintain specified tolerances it is necessary to camber formwork to
compensate it for anticipated deflections in formwork before hardening of concrete.
The construction of formwork has to permit easy removal. When removal of formwork or
reshoring is based on concrete reaching a specified compressive strength, concrete will be
presumed to have and reached this strength when test cylinders, field cured the same as the
concrete they represent have reached the compressive strength specified for removal of
formwork or reshoring.
All parts of molds have to be moveable in order to be able to meet geometrical
requirements. The formwork is proposed so that it can be moved into the various positions for
example for concreting, match-casting and curing.
The planning of the production flow for precast elements according to the time schedule is
individual for beams or match-casted segments. In general it is impossible to find a site with
the exactly required geometry. There is need to make optimum use of a given and suitable
site.
7.1.2. Reinforcement
This section covers materials, fabrication, placement, and tolerances of reinforcement and
reinforcement accessories.
The reinforcement for precast bridge elements is often fabricated to increase the
productivity of work. For all kind of reinforcement it is necessary to have data and drawings
for review and acceptance before fabrication and execution:
Reinforcement shall be the grades required by Contract Documents. Placing drawings
showing fabrication dimensions and locations for placement of reinforcement and
reinforcement supports. Description of reinforcement weld locations, welding procedures and
welder qualifications when welding is permitted.
Fabrication of reinforcement into rebar cages must be in accordance with fabricating
tolerances.

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When concrete is placed, reinforcement shall be free of materials deleterious to bond. The
specified placing tolerances can not be exceed before concrete is placed. Placing tolerances
shall not reduce minimum concrete cover requirements.
7.1.3. Concrete mixtures
This section covers the requirements for materials, proportioning, production and delivery
of concrete.
Mixture proportions and characteristics must be proposed to establish the required average
compressive strength of concrete. Materials used for mixture are cementitious materials,
aggregates, mixing water and chemical admixtures. The concrete mixtures must not only
meet the specified strength requirements but also produce concrete with equal finish quality,
appearance, durability and surface hardness.
Chemical composition of all component is very important. Especially aggregates which
have to resist alkalisilika reaction. Every characteristic of the concrete component can
influence its final quality.
Performance and design requirements which provide workability and consistency so that
concrete can be worked readily into forms and around reinforcement without segregation or
bleeding, and to provide an average compressive strength adequate to meet acceptance
requirements. Field test records are used to calculate standard deviation which shall represent
materials, quality control procedures, and climatic conditions similar to those expected in the
work.
By using plasticizing or high-range water-reducing admixtures which are added to the
concrete we can achieve flowable concrete, and water content is decreased.
Concrete is mixed in automatic mixing devices.
7.1.4. Concrete handling and placing
This section covers the production of precast structural concrete. Included are methods
and procedures for obtaining quality concrete through proper handling, placing, finishing,
curing, and repair of surface defects.
Precast post-tensioned beams, segments and elements for substructure systems are often
produced in the individual molds. Pretensioned beams or slabs are manufactured on the long
lines.
The rebar cage are often prefabricated outside of the mold and than be lifted into it.
Concrete is transported by truck-mixers with the aid of conveyor belts that are horizontal
or at a slope. The use of conveyors can cause excessive segregation or loss of ingredients.
Concrete must be protected to minimize drying and effects of temperature rise.
Consolidation of concrete by vibration: Thoroughly work concrete around reinforcement
and embedded items and into corners of forms, eliminating air and stone pockets that may
cause honey-combing, pitting, or planes of weakness. Using interval vibrators of the largest
size and power is very important for proper use in the work. For given concrete plasticity it is
necessary to use corresponding vibrators with characteristics like diameter of head,
frequency, eccentric moment, average amplitude, centrifugal force and radius of action.
Finishing formed surfaces: After removal of forms it is necessary to give each formed
surface one or more of the finishes .
Curing and protection:
Curing
Ponding, continuous fogging or continuous sprinkling;
Application of mats or fabric kept continuously wet;
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Continuous application of steam;


Application of sheet materials;
Application of curing compound;
Application of other accepted moisture-retaining method.
Protection: Immediately after the placement of concrete it must be protected from
premature drying, excessively hot or cold temperatures, and mechanical injury. Concrete
protection during the curing period such that the concrete temperature does not fall below the
requirements. Protection of concrete must be maintained to prevent freezing of the concrete
and to ensure the necessary strength development for structural safety. Surface defects is
necessary to repair immediately after formwork removal. Where the concrete surface will be
textured by sandblasting or bush-hammering, repair surface defects before texturing.
7.1.5. Prestressed concrete
This section covers requirements pre-tensioned or post-tensioned, prestressed precast
elements.
Shop drawings of prestressed concrete construction will determine tendon support heights
and chair sizes, the location of tendons and sheathing throughout their length, size, details,
location, materials, and stress grade for tendons and accessories, including anchorage device
details, jack clearances, jacking procedures, stressing sequence, initial tensioning forces, gage
pressures and tendon elongation.
Preliminary data submit the following information:
* Typical stress-strain curve of the prestressing steel for a sample representing the
production lot
* Results of tests for ultimate strength, yield strength, elongation, and composition for
materials
* Values of wobble and curvature friction coefficients, anchorage set data, and, when
required by
Contract Documents, test data substantiating the expected coefficients
and anchorage set.
Quality control:
Static test: Testing prestressing steel sample with a method that will allow accurate
determination of yield strength, ultimate strength, and elongation of the specimen, anchorages
for bonded tendons, or anchorages for unbonded tendons and couplings.
Grout testing for strength and shrinkage.
Tolerances: Bearing surface between anchorage and concrete shall be concentric with the
tendons and perpendicular to the direction of the tendon at the anchorage. Placing tendons,
sheathing, and anchorages have to be done within the tolerances for reinforcement placement,
distance between reinforcement, and concrete cover.
Production delivery, handling, and storage of materials in a manner that prevents mechanical damage and corrosion. So it is necessary to store cement and premixed grout to
prevent bag set.
Prestressing tendons: Prestressing steel shall be of a type and strength required by
Contract Documents. Tendons shall be clean and free of excessive rust, scale, and pitting. A
light oxide coating is permissible.
Sheathing and duct-forming materials shall not react with alkalies in the cement. It shall
be strong enough to retain their shape and resist damage during construction, and shall
prevent the intrusion of water from the cement paste. Sheathing and duct-forming material left
in place shall not cause directly or indirectly electrolytic action or deterioration. Sheathing
shall be capable of transmitting forces from the grout to the surrounding concrete.
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Duct shall have grout holes or vents at each end and at each intended high point. Drain
holes are provided at each intended low point if the tendon will be subjected to freezing after
placing and before grouting.
Grout shall consist of a mixture of cement and water. An acceptable shrinkagecompensating or expanding admixture to produce an unrestrained expansion of the mixture is
less than 10% by volume of the grout.
Tendons are to be kept dry and kept out of the water conduit until flushing tendons prior
to grouting. Sheathing for use with bonded tendons must be kept free of grease, oil, paint, and
other foreign matter. A light coat of rust on the tendons is permissible, provided loose rust has
been removed and the surface of the steel is not pitted.
End anchorages that will be permanently protected with concrete are kept free of loose
rost, grease, oil, and other foreign matter.
Protection of grout fittings and sheathing for bonded tendons from collapse and other
damage. Before placing concrete, the sheathing and grout fittings for holes must be examined
and repaired.
Stressing of tendons in the sequence, at the concrete strength, and at the construction stage
are indicated in the Contract Documents. Prestressing force is determined by measuring
tendon elongation and checking jack pressure with a calibrated gage or dynamometer.
Formwork has to be build so that it does not restrain elastic shortening, deflection, or
camber resulting from application of the prestressing force, and is sufficiently rigid to prevent
displacement of the tendons. Anchor tendon supports to the formwork have to maintain the
tendon profile during concrete placement.

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7.2. Quality Control

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7.3. Transport and Erection


It is in most cases, the responsibility of the manufacturer to deliver bridge beams to site.
The handling of units on site, preparation of suitable access roads, cranage and further site
operations will require planning by the contractor. The manufacturer will always advise in
this planning phase if required.
Beams are delivered to site on vehicles with the load supported and restrained
appropriately. On site, the access road to the point of unloadig must be appropriate for road
vehicles. Roadways with crossfalls or corners with severe changes of level should be avoided
as these may impose torsional stresses on the beams. The unloading area ahould be on level
ground and appropriate space for turning should be available.

Fig 7.3.1 Transport of I beams

Fig 7.3.2 Transport of Box beams


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Fig 7.3.3 Transport of slim Box beams

Fig 7.3.4 Transportation of beams

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Lifting operations must be reviewed by a competent person. Cranes should be positioned


such that the erection of the beams can take place safely, within the safe working load and
radius of the crane. Beam weights for lifting are identified on drawings. The minimum sling
angle will also be defined on the drawings.
Bridge beam lifts are often critical with respect to road or rail closures, it is recommended
therefore that crane has some additional capacity.
The ground conditions should be investigated including adjacent to the access and
working area. Outrigger loading should be supported on ground with adequate bearing
capacity.
Hazards such as unconsolidated backfill, edges of embankments, river banks, trenches,
manholes and undergruond services must be avoided.

Fig 7.3.3 Erection of Piers

Fig 7.3.3 Erection of I beams

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Fig 7.3.4 Erection of Box beams

Fig 7.3.5 Erection of Precast slabs

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Fig 7.3.6 Night Erection of Box beams

Fig 7.3.7 Erection of a segment of a cable stayed bridge

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7.4. Site Work

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7.5. Testing
7.5.1. Scope
In chapter 7.5 some information concerning loading tests on precast reinforced or
prestressed concrete bridges are given.
The chapter deals with the loading tests that have to be carried out before putting new
bridges into service.
7.5.2. Introduction
Loading tests are carried out mainly in order to verify the good quality of the construction.
In the case of bridges with unusual (non standard) solutions loading tests are useful for
verifying the reliability of the design criteria.
The loading tests carried out before putting the bridge into service are essential in order to
obtain approval for the bridge.
Loading tests, according to the nature of the loads, may be classified as follows:
static tests;
dynamic tests.
In some cases bridges may be monitored and investigated for a long time after being put
into service.
Monitoring of bridges may be useful (for example) if there are doubts concerning the
execution of the works or the characteristics of the foundation soil.
For bridges whose decks are constructed using precast reinforced or prestressed concrete
elements loading tests, as a rule, are static tests.
Dynamic tests are very useful for testing the behaviour in service of long span bridges (>
60 m) or bridges with non standard static schemes.
7.5.3. Loading test procedure
The loading test project
Before carrying out a loading test, it is necessary to develop the loading test project. In
this project the following items are defined and illustrated:
* information concerning the bridge (geometry, static schemes, materials etc.);
* the goals of the loading test;
* the loads to be applied and in particular:
* the value of the loads to be applied and, if it is necessary, other data concerning the loads
themselves;
* the load phases to be adopted (steps, timing etc);
* the means (equipment) to be used for loading the bridge;
* the areas of the bridge to be loaded or the positions of the loads.
* the locations of the measurements;
* the quantity to be measured (displacements, rotations, strains etc.);
* the theoretical values of the above mentioned quantity;
* the instruments to be used (number of instruments, characteristics such as accuracy
tolerance, range of measurements etc.);
* the provisional auxiliary equipment (scaffolding);
* safety precautions and other recommendations.
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Loading tests, as a rule, are carried out not before three months after concreting of the
main structural elements of the bridge.
This term may be shortened to one month (28 days) if the temperature of the air, after
concreting, has been not less than a prefixed value (for example 5 C).
Inspection of the bridge and investigations concerning the bridge
An inspection of the bridge and investigations concerning the bridge itself are carried out
before testing in order to verify:
* that the real (main) dimensions of the bridge are the same as in the design drawings;
* that the real characteristics of the materials (concrete, steel) are in agreement with the
design provisions;
* the status of some singular points of the bridge such as the joints, the bearings etc;
* the situation concerning some particular aspects such as the cracking of the concrete.
Loading tests
Loading tests may be static or dynamic.
First of all some information is given concerning static loading tests; then some
information is given concerning dynamic loading tests.
Hereafter we especially refer to Spanish Standard and to other International relevant
Documents as RILEM Documents.
7.5.4. Static loading tests
Execution of the loading test
Loads are applied according to the loading test project.
If vehicles are used in order to load the bridge, their weight and their dimensions have to
be, approximately the same as, the values prescribed in the loading test project. During the
test, one or more load conditions may be applied depending on the geometric characteristics
and on the static scheme of the bridge.
The loading steps are carried out according to the loading test project; in each load cycle
these steps are at least two. The unloading may be in one step.
Measurements during the load test
All relevant data concerning the test will be recorded; in particular the following data is
recorded:
* the characteristics of the loads (steps, cycles, positions etc);
* the measured quantities (displacements, strains, etc);
* the sequence of the measured data;
* the timing of the measures;
* the difference of value between the two subsequent measures;
* the crack width (if any) in the critical zones;
* the temperature of the air during the loading test.
During the loading test at least the following quantities are measured:
* vertical displacements in the mid-span of the main structural elements;
* settlements of the bearing of the above mentioned main structural elements;
* the crack width (if any) in the critical regions (mid-span or supports).
It is very useful to obtain a continuos register of the two first measurements during the
load test . Nowadays the data acquisition systems are not expensive and the possibility to

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watch in real time the deflection of the main structural elements during the load test is more
practical and safer than the traditional survey.
Hereafter remarks dealing with some aspects concerning the measurements during the
static loading tests are presented.
Evaluation of the stability of the measurements
Let us consider a quantity (displacement, strain etc) measured during a loading test;
the value of a quantity measured during the test with a predetermined time interval (not
less than 5 minutes according to RILEM TBS-3 ) may be considered stabilised if
the increment of this value passing from a time interval to the following one is:
* less than 15% of the increment recorded in the previous interval;
* less than the accuracy tolerance of the measuring instruments..
This criterion may be applied both during loading and unloading the bridge.
According to Spanish Standard the stabilisation of the measurement of a quantity (for
example displacement) is obtained as follows.
At the beginning of the test the initial value (f 0) is recorded. After 10 minutes a second
value (f10) is recorded. The measurement is considered stabilised if:
* f10 f0 < 0.05 f0
or
* the quantity (f10 f0) is comparable with the accuracy tolerance of the measuring
instrument.
If the measurement is not stabilised, after other 10 minutes a third value (f 20) is recorded.
The measurement is considered stabilised if:
* f20 f10 < 0.02 (f10 f0)
or
* the quantity (f20 f10) is comparable with the accuracy tolerance of the measuring
instrument.
If the measurement is still not stabilised the test Director Engineer may decide either to go
on with the measuring of the quantity or to stop the test.
During the unloading of the structure the same criteria may be adopted for the stabilisation
of the measurements.
Remaining quantities
The remaining value of a quantity (fr) in each load condition is defined as the difference
between the initial value (before loading) and the final (stabilised) value of the quantity itself.
During a static loading test the remaining values after the first load cycle have to be less
than 15% of the maximum value (f) of the quantity measured during the test.
We consider (according to Spanish Standard):
* = 100fr/f .
* lim = 20% for reinforced concrete;
* lim = 25% for prestressed concrete.
After the first load cycle is completed:
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* if (1cycle) < lim , the remaining value of the considered quantity is acceptable;
* if lim < (1cycle) 2lim , it is necessary to carry out a second load cycle;
* if (1cycle) < lim , the test has to be stopped.
In the case that a second load cycle is carried out, according to the above mentioned
conditions,
if (2cycle) < (1cycle) /3 , the remaining value is acceptable;
if (2cycle) > (1cycle) /3 , the test has to be stopped.
Acceptance criteria
The loading test is considered positive if the following conditions are verified.
In the mid-span of the main structural elements the ratio of measured value of vertical
displacements to the theoretical one is less than:
1.1 for prestressed concrete bridges;
1.15 for reinforced concrete bridges.
The remaining value of the vertical displacement is acceptable, according to the above
mentioned Remaining quantity criteria
The cracking pattern of the critical zones of the bridge is in agreement with the standard
specifications.
7.5.5. Dynamic loading test
In some European countries like Spain , Czech Republic and Slovakia the execution of
dynamic load tests in some kind of bridges is mandatory.
In Spain is necessary to carry out these tests in all the bridges with a span of over 60 m
and in all railway bridges.
In Czech Republic and Slovakia the dynamic load tests are compulsory on railway bridges
with a simple span over 50 m or on continuos bridges with an overall length of 80 m. On
highways the dynamic test are mandatory on bridges with spans of over 45 m.
Execution of the loading test
In dynamic load tests is possible to excite the structure in different ways:
With vehicles moving on the bridge, with the impact of falling loads , with special
vibrators (hydraulic actuators), etc.
In dynamic load tests using vehicles, the bridge is passed over at various speeds. Testing
starts at a speed of about 10 km/h , at 50 km/h and at the maximum speed allowed.
Very often in road bridges the natural frequency of the bridge is obtained exciting the
structure with the jump of a vehicle over an obstacle in the form of a cylinder segment , 6 cm
high , 300 cm long and cross sectional chord being 50 cm long.
Measurements during the load test
In the loading dynamic test project the following parameters that will be measured during
the test should be indicated:
-The eigenfrequency (or natural frequency) of the bridge.
-The logarithmic decrement of damping of the bridge , given by the formula:
=1/n ln(A0 / An )
where
A0 : the amplitud of bridge oscillation.
An : the amplitud of bridge oscillation after n cicles.
-Impact coefficient. It is defined as:
= fdin / fsta
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where fdin : is the maximum dynamic behaviour (for example deflection) under
a dynamic load.
fsta : is the maximum static behaviour (for example deflection ) under a static load
of the same value.
Instrumentation of the dynamic loading test
Usually the data adquisition system is formed by the next elements.
-Displacements transducers.
-Accelerometers.
-Strain gauges.
-Signal conditioning equipment.
-Data adquisition board or unit.
The response of the bridge structure to the dynamic load is measured in the middle of each
span. The sampling rate of the measures must be higher than 200 samples per second.
Acceptance criteria
The logarithmic decrement of damping should vary between 0.03 and 0.12
The impact coefficient will be evaluated as follows:
Low if < 1,10 .
Medium if 1,10 < < 1,30 .
High if > 1,30 .
Bridge structures with relatively low stiffness and damping should be designed not to have
fundamental and higher frequencies in the range between 3.5 and 4.5 Hz.
Footbridges and other pedestrian structures should be designed with natural frequencies
lower then 1,6 Hz or higher then 2,4 Hz.
7.5.6. Final report
When loading test is finished a technical report is prepared (written) concerning the
loading test itself.
This technical report contains information concerning:
a description of the bridge;
general data concerning the loading test;
the geometry and the characteristics of the bridge;
the situation of the bridge before the loading test;
the means for loading the bridge;
the measured quantity;
the measuring instruments;
the comparison between the measured and the theoretical values of the quantity.
the final conclusion about the behaviour of the bridge in the test.

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7.6. Maintenance, Inspection and Assessment


7.6.1. Maintenance, inspection
The maintenance, inspection and assessment are important elements of preservation of
value, seen from the economy as a whole.
Regular inspections of bridges can detect possible defects which can be caused due to the
accident or due to the long-term actions of chemicals or environmental effects.
The chemicals and environmental effects can be partially predicted for each component of
the structure, which has its life time. On the base of this knowledge it is possible to create
maintenance plan for every part of the structure.
The maintenance of structures can prevent their further deterioration.
The inspection, assessment and upgrading of structures are engineering disciplines which
are gaining significance both from a technical and economic point of view.
The codification of assessment procedures for existing structures is representing a new
field of development. New non-destructive methods which are developed are most suitable
and efficient for the assessment of bridges and other concrete structures e.g. concerning
corrosion of the reinforcement, detection of faults in concrete members, location of ducts and
the detection of fractures of prestressing steel.
7.6.2. Valuation of existing structures
New methods of evaluation, repair and strengthening which are presented yet seem to be
accepted by custom.
The reasons are to be found in the higher demands concerning the variability of bridges
use, the limited durability of bridges and increased safety requirements. The people
responsible for design, execution and use need design rules for durability. Insufficient job site
quality control procedures and non-existing and/or insufficient maintenance and inspection
during use need to be covered by Design Concepts for Durability, both for the design of new
structures and for the repair of damaged structures.
The codification of assessment procedures for existing structures is a new field of
development. Chapter 8 of the draft ISO 2394, Reliability of Structures, is especially devoted
to the assessment of existing structures and may by regarded as the first international model
code in this field.
The analysis and assessment of an existing structure follows the same basic principles as
the assessment of a structure under design. In the context of this code, this means that
probabilistic models should be produced for the basic variables and that mechanical models
should be made for the loads and structural properties.
ISO 2394 treats these problems within the framework of probabilistic methods.
For application in everyday practice, the results of those methods need to be translated
into standard load and resistance factor procedures.
If a structure is to be reconstructed, an assessment must be mandatory. The dimensions
and properties of the present structure must be known in order to be able to make an analysis
of the reconstructed building.
Many bridges have been designed for traffic loads that are much smaller than the present
day traffic loads. Many engineers have the feeling that no further investigation is required if
the bridge does not show signs of distress. This is a dangerous way of reasoning. It should be
at least verified that the structure is of such a type that it indeed will show signs of distress in
due time.
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When there is obvious damage to a structure, a structural appraisal is clearly required. The
difficult point is to indicate the demarcation between harmless deterioration and
deterioration demanding further investigation.
In cases where a structure has been loaded by some extreme load, e.g. earthquake or fire,
there is a need for further investigation, even if this particular structure does not show any
visible damage at first sight.
A routine inspections according to the maintenance plan can be relatively simple, e.g.
looking at appearance aspects only. If the result is within the predefined limits, the assessment
is that the structural capacity is still sufficient. If the result is outside the predefined limits, a
further investigation might follow, or it might be decided to repair the structure immediately.
The highest priority needs for bridge inspection, for instance, are a global bridge
evaluation, the rapid assessment of asphalt covered bridge decks, the evaluation of unknown
foundations, the evaluation of prestressing steel in prestressed concrete, and integration of the
nondestructive evaluation into bridge management systems.
7.6.3. Nondestructive methods
The following NDT methods are most suitable and efficient for the assessment of bridges
and other concrete structures.
Corrosion of reinforcement, concrete cover and potential mapping
The state of corrosion of the reinforcement over an extensive area is assessed using a
computer-aided concrete cover measuring instrument. In addition, the potential monitoring
method is used to determine the potential difference between the reinforcement and a
reference electrode over an extensive area in a previously defined grid. In the areas found to
have a particularly low potential difference, a chloride section of the concrete is additionally
analyzed. By comparing these 3 parameters the areas in which there is already active
corrosion or which are highly likely to develop corrosion can be localized. This method is
applied especially to bridges after removing the old carriageway surfacing or the old
waterproofing course.
The condition for application of the potential monitoring method is that the concrete must
possess sufficient conductivity. The concrete must be a conductive electrolyte. The question
to be asked here is whether or not the concrete surface needs to be pre-wetted before
performing the measurement. The concrete does not have to be pre-moistened if it is
permanently in contact with the atmospheric air. The air humidity usually ensures a sufficient
level of moisture in the void system of the concrete.
Ultrasonics and impact echo
One of the principal objectives in the development of NDT-CE (Non Destructive Testing
in Civil Engineering) techniques is a reliable assessment of the integrity or the detection of
defects in concrete members. Such inspections could in the past only be solved by means of
radiography, for a concrete thickness less than 0,6 m, or by partially destructive methods. The
Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo or Pulse-Velocity methods are the right tools for this type of detection.
When the load capacity of a concrete unit is in doubt, it is desirable to know where air voids,
gravel pockets and areas of low concrete strength are located exactly. Ultrasound
measurements were used to identify areas of low quality concrete in columns more than 800
mm thick by correlating pulse velocity with the compressive strength of sample cores drilled.
It is shown that grid measurements and 3D visualisation are essential tools to obtain an easyto-read picture of the interior of the columns. The Impact-Echo method is particularly suitable
for determining the thickness of concrete units from just one surface, but also for localizing
defective areas and compaction defects in the concrete.
Location of ducts by Radar
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Defective areas in concrete are traceable by radar. The radar beam an electromagnetic
signal penetrates the concrete and is reflected at the interface with the defective area. Not
only defective areas but also the prestressing tendons which usually have a concrete cover of
at least 100 mm can be localized by radar. The electromagnetic pulse is reflected by the
reinforcement and the tendon. The backscattered signals are received and displayed in
dependence on the position of the antenna. The graphic recording of the radar signal shows
the tendons as typical reflection hyperbolas. The main advantage of radar compared to other
conductive detectors is its capability to detect deeply embedded metal sheathings behind the
normal reinforcement.
fractures of prestressing steel: Remanent magnetism
Before repairing a prestressed concrete structure the prestressing tendons should also be
examined to check whether they are intact. Opening of the grouted prestressing tendons
always involves the risk of closing them reliably in order to avoid an area of corrosion with
anodic polarization. A grouted prestressing tendon should not be inspected by random
sampling, but must be checked over its entire length, at least in the areas subjected to extreme
loading, using a nondestructive method. A method based on remanent magnetism has been
developed. The testing equipment has been continually improved and allows the detection of
failures with high accuracy, it can be mounted easily and offers efficient application.
The main field of repair strategies are related to the design of corrosion protection for
ordinary reinforcement.
New class of corrosion inhibitors for reinforced concrete structures has been developed.
The inhibitor can be applied on the surface of the concrete structure by brush, spraying or
flow coating and will penetrate deep into the concrete to protect the reinforcing bars against
corrosion or to stop corrosion without any need for the concrete to be removed. The inhibitors
are based on amino alcohols (Ama) or are aqueous mixtures of partly neutralised AMAs.
Rehabilitation of poorly grouted tendons
The localization of metal sheathings which are incompletely grouted using nondestructive
testing methods is only possible by radiographic testing and subsequent and elaborate image
processing. This method is not suitable to be used over an extensive area. Nevertheless, it is
helpful to gain an insight into poorly grouted metal sheathings using a partially destructive
method, i.e. by tapping and opening the metal sheathing and inspecting it with an endoscope.
These inspections focus on areas in which the probability of defective parts is particularly
high, for example at the anchorage points or at the high and low points of the tendons.
The size of the void can then be determined at the tapping points by means of vacuum
measurement and, using the vacuum, the void can be grouted with injection grouting resin or
cement paste.

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7. Bibliography
[1.1]
[1.2]
[1.3]
[1.4]

ENV 1992-2 1996 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures Part 2:


Concrete Bridges
ENV 1998-2 1994 Eurocode 8: Design provisions for earthquake resistance
of structures Part 2: Bridges
CEN/TC 229/WG1/TG14 BRIDGE ELEMENTS
prEN 13369 1999 Common rules for precast concrete products.

[3.1]
[3.2]

Rossner, Brcken aus Spannbeton-Fertigteilen, 1988, Ernst & Sohn, Berlin


Vorlufige Richtlinien fr Straen- und Wegebrcken aus Spann- und
Stahlbeton-Fertigteilen (R FT-Brcken) 1979, Forschungsgesellschaft fr das
Straenwesen

[4.1]

Bridge Design for Durability. A TRL Publication Incorporating Methods of


Achieving Continuity in
Composite Concrete Bridge Decks by Brian P. Pritchard.
Prestressed Beam Integral Bridges by Dr. Edmund C. Hambly and Bruce
Nicholson (PCA/U.K. publication)
Continuity of Bridge Decks using Precast Beams by Dr H. P. J. Taylor
(Chairman PCA/U.K.)
Serviceability Limit State Aspects of Continuous Bridges using Precast
Concrete Beams by L. A. Clarke and I. Sugie (PCA/U.K. publication)

[4.2]
[4.3]
[4.4]
[5.1]

fib-Guide to good practice (bulletin No. 9, Guidance to good bridge design,


July 2000), chapter 1.4.2.

[6.1]

RILEM Report 14
Durability Design of Concrete Structures
Edited by A. Sarja and E. Vesikari 1996
fib-bulletin 3 Structural Concrete
Textbook on Behaviour, Design and Performance
Volume 3
EUROCODE 8-2 DAN
Association Franaise de Gnie Parasismique (AFPS) guide, 1992
Ponts Courants en Zone Sismique - Guide de Conception January 2000,
SETRA and SNCF
PS92 seismic engineering regulations
Association Franaise de Gnie Parasismique (AFPS) recommendations, 1990

[6.2]
[6.3]
[6.4]
[6.5]
[6.6]
[6.7]

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