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Eurocodes
EN 1991-1-1: Actions on Structures - General Actions
EN 1991-1-5: Actions on Structures - Thermal Actions
EN 1991-1-7: Actions on Structures - Accidental Actions
EN 1991-2: Actions on Structures - Traffic Loads on Bridges
EN 1992-1-1: Design of Concrete Structures - General Rules
EN 1992-2: Design of Concrete Structures - Bridges
EN 1993-5: Design of Steel Structures - Piling
EN 1997-1: Geotechnical Design - General Rules
EN 1998-2: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Bridges
EN 1998-5: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Geotechnical
Aspects
Each document is accompanied by a National Annex
British Standards
BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the Design of Concrete Bridges
BS 8002: Code of Practice for Earth Retaining Structures
BS 8006: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills
BS 8500: Concrete - Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1
BS 8666: Specification for scheduling, dimensioning, bending and cutting of
steel reinforcement for concrete
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
BD30: Backfilled Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
BA41: The Design and Appearance of Bridges
BA42: The Design of Integral Bridges
BD42: Design of Embedded Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
BD70: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills for Retaining Walls and
Bridge Abutments

Eurocodes
EN 1990: Basis of Structural Design
EN 1991-1-1: Actions on Structures - General Actions
EN 1991-2: Actions on Structures - Traffic Loads on Bridges
EN 1997-1: Geotechnical Design - General Rules
EN 1997-2: Geotechnical Design - Ground Investigation and Testing
Each document is accompanied by a National Annex

British Standards
BS 5400: Part 1: General Statement
BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
BS 5930: Code of Practice for Site Investigations
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
BA41: The Design and Appearance of Bridges
BA42: The Design of Integral Bridges
BD29: Design Criteria for Footbridges
BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
TD27: Cross Sections and Headrooms
TD36: Subways for Pedestrians and Pedal Cyclists. Layout and Dimensions.
Preliminary Design
In selecting the correct bridge type it is necessary to find a structure that will perform its
required function and present an acceptable appearance at the least cost.
Decisions taken at preliminary design stage will influence the extent to which the actual
structure approximates to the ideal, but so will decisions taken at detailed design stage.
Consideration of each of the ideal characteristics in turn will give some indication of the
importance of preliminary bridge design.
a. Safety.
The ideal structure must not collapse in use. It must be capable of carrying the loading
required of it with the appropriate factor of safety. This is more significant at detailed
design stage as generally any sort of preliminary design can be made safe.
b. Serviceability.
The ideal structure must not suffer from local deterioration/failure, from excessive
deflection or vibration, and it must not interfere with sight lines on roads above or
below it. Detailed design cannot correct faults induced by bad preliminary design.
c. Economy.
The structure must make minimal demands on labour and capital; it must cost as little
as possible to build and maintain. At preliminary design stage it means choosing the
right types of material for the major elements of the structure, and arranging these in
the right form.
d. Appearance.
The structure must be pleasing to look at. Decisions about form and materials are
made at preliminary design stage; the sizes of individual members are finalised at
detailed design stage. The preliminary design usually settles the appearance of the
bridge.

Constraints
The construction depth available should be evaluated. The economic implications of raising
or lowering any approach embankments should then be considered. By lowering the
embankments the cost of the earthworks may be reduced, but the resulting reduction in the
construction depth may cause the deck to be more expensive.
Headroom requirements have to be maintained below the deck; the minimum standards for
UK Highway bridges are given in TD 27 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. The
Eurocode Standard (EN 1991-1-7 clause 4.3.2(1) quotes clearances from roadway surfacing
to the underside of the deck to avoid impact damage.
If the bridge is to cross a road that is on a curve, then the width of the opening may have to be
increased to provide an adequate site line for vehicles on the curved road.
It is important to determine the condition of the bridge site by carrying out a comprehensive
site investigation. EN 1997-2: 'Ground investigation and testing' covers the requirements for
the Soil Survey. Other topics which need to be considered are:
i.

Existing services (Gas, Electricity, Water, etc)

ii.

Rivers and streams (liability to flood)

iii.

Existing property and rights of way

iv.

Access to site for construction traffic

Selection of Bridge Type


The following table is intended to be a rough guide to the useful span ranges of various types
of deck.
Span
Deck Type
Up to 20m
Insitu reinforced concrete.
Insitu prestressed post-tensioned concrete.
Prestressed pre-tensioned inverted T beams with insitu fill.

16m to 30m

Insitu reinforced concrete voided slab.


Insitu prestressed post-tensioned concrete voided slab.
Prestressed pre-tensioned Y and U beams with insitu slab.
Prestressed pre-tensioned box beams with insitu topping.
Prestressed post-tensioned beams with insitu slab.
Steel beams with insitu slab.
30m to 40m

Prestressed pre-tensioned SY beams with insitu slab.


Prestressed pre-tensioned box beams with insitu topping.
Prestressed post-tensioned beams with insitu slab.
Steel beams with insitu slab.
30m to 300m

Box girder bridges - As the span increases the construction tends to go from 'all concrete' to
'steel box / concrete deck' to 'all steel'.
Truss bridges - for spans up to 50m they are generally less economic than plate girders.
150m to 1000m
Cable stayed bridges.
350m to ?
Suspension bridges.

Preliminary Design Considerations


1. A span to depth ratio of 20 will give a starting point for estimating construction
depths.
2. Continuity over supports
i.

Reduces number of expansion joints.

ii.

Reduces maximum bending moments and hence construction depth or the


material used.

iii.

Increases sensitivity to differential settlement.

3. Factory made units


i.

Reduces the need for soffit shuttering or scaffolding; useful when headroom is
restricted or access is difficult.

ii.

Reduces site work which is weather dependent.

iii.

Dependent on delivery dates by specialist manufactures.

iv.

Specials tend to be expensive.

v.

Special permission needed to transport units of more than 29m long on the
highway.

4. Length of structure
i.

The shortest structure is not always the cheapest. By increasing the length of
the structure the embankment, retaining wall and abutment costs may be
reduced, but the deck costs will increase.

5. Substructure
i.

The structure should be considered as a whole, including appraisal of piers,


abutments and foundations. Alternative designs for piled foundations should
be investigated; piling can increase the cost of a structure by up to 20%.

Costing and Final Selection


The preliminary design process will produce several apparently viable schemes. The
procedure from this point is to:
i.

Estimate the major quantities.

ii.

Apply unit price rates - they need not be up to date but should reflect any differential
variations.

iii.

Obtain prices for the schemes.

The final selection will be based on cost and aesthetics. This method of costing assumes that
the scheme with the minimum volume will be the cheapest, and will be true if the structure is
not particularly unusual. Eurocodes
EN 1991-1-1: Actions on Structures - General Actions
EN 1991-1-4: Actions on Structures - Wind Actions
EN 1991-1-5: Actions on Structures - Thermal Actions
EN 1991-1-7: Actions on Structures - Accidental Actions
EN 1991-2: Actions on Structures - Traffic Loads on Bridges
EN 1992-1-1: Design of Concrete Structures - General Rules

EN 1992-2: Design of Concrete Structures - Bridges


Each document is accompanied by a National Annex
British Standards
BS 4449: Steel for Reinforcement of Concrete
BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the Design of Concrete Bridges
BS 8500: Concrete - Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1
BS 8666: Specification for scheduling, dimensioning, bending and
cutting of steel reinforcement for concrete
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
BA24: Early Thermal Cracking of Concrete
BD24: Design of Concrete Bridges
BD28: Early Thermal Cracking of Concrete
BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
BD43: Criteria and Materials for the Impregnation of Concrete
Highway Structures
BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
Technical Papers
CIRIA Report C660 - Early-age thermal crack control in concrete.

Reinforced Concrete Decks


The three most common types of reinforced concrete bridge decks are :

Solid Slab

Voided Slab

Beam and Slab

Solid slab bridge decks are most useful for small, single or multi-span bridges and are easily
adaptable for high skew.
Voided slab and beam and slab bridges are used for larger, single or multi-span bridges. In
circular voided decks the ratio of [depth of void] / [depth of slab] should be less than 0.79;
and the maximum area of void should be less than 49% of the deck sectional area.

Analysis of Deck
For decks with skew less than 25 a simple unit strip method of analysis is generally
satisfactory. For skews greater than 25 then a grillage or finite element method of analysis
will be required. Skew decks develop twisting moments in the slab which become more
significant with higher skew angles. Computer analysis will produce values for Mx, My and
Mxy where Mxy represents the twisting moment in the slab. Due to the influence of this
twisting moment, the most economical way of reinforcing the slab would be to place the
reinforcing steel in the direction of the principal moments. However these directions vary
over the slab and two directions have to be chosen in which the reinforcing bars should lie.
Wood and Armer have developed equations for the moment of resistance to be provided in
two predetermined directions in order to resist the applied moments Mx, My and Mxy.
Extensive tests on various steel arrangements have shown the best positions as follows

Prestressed Concrete Decks


There are two types of deck using prestressed concrete :
i.

Pre-tensioned beams with insitu concrete.

ii.

Post-tensioned concrete.

The term pre-tensioning is used to describe a method of prestressing in which the tendons are
tensioned before the concrete is placed, and the prestress is transferred to the concrete when a

suitable cube strength is reached.


Post-tensioning is a method of prestressing in which the tendon is tensioned after the concrete
has reached a suitable strength. The tendons are anchored against the hardened concrete
immediately after prestressing.
There are three concepts involved in the design of prestressed concrete :
i.

Prestressing transforms concrete into an elastic material.


By applying this concept concrete may be regarded as an elastic material, and may be
treated as such for design at normal working loads. From this concept the criterion of
no tensile stresses in the concrete was evolved.
In an economically designed simply supported beam, at the critical section, the
bottom fibre stress under dead load and prestress should ideally be the maximum
allowable stress; and under dead load, live load and prestress the stress should be the
minimum allowable stress.
Therefore under dead load and prestress, as the dead load moment reduces towards
the support, then the prestress moment will have to reduce accordingly to avoid
exceeding the permissible stresses. In post-tensioned structures this may be achieved
by curving the tendons, or in pre-tensioned structures some of the prestressing strands
may be deflected or de-bonded near the support.

ii.

Prestressed concrete is to be considered as a combination of steel and concrete with


the steel taking tension and concrete compression so that the two materials form a
resisting couple against the external moment. (Analogous to reinforced concrete
concepts).
This concept is utilized to determine the ultimate strength of prestressed beams.

iii.

Prestressing is used to achieve load balancing.


It is possible to arrange the tendons to produce an upward load which balances the
downward load due to say, dead load, in which case the concrete would be in uniform
compression.

Pre-tensioned Bridge Decks

Types of beams in common use are inverted T-beams, M-beams and Y beams. Inverted Tbeams are generally used for spans between 7 and 16 metres and the voids between the beams
are filled with insitu concrete thus forming a solid deck. M-Beams are used for spans between
14 and 30 metres and have a thin slab cast insitu spanning between the top flanges with the
aim of forming a voided slab type deck. The top face of the bottom flange of M-Beams
cannot be readily inspected, also the limited access makes bearing replacement difficult. As a
consequence of these restrictions the Y-beam was introduced in 1990 to replace the M-beam.
This lead to the production of an SY-beam which is used for spans between 32 and 40 metres.
The U-beam is used for spans between 14 and 34 metres and is usually chosen where
torsional strength is required.

Post-tensioned Bridge Decks

Post-tensioned bridge decks are generally composed of insitu concrete in which ducts have
been cast in the required positions.

When the concrete has acquired sufficient strength, the tendons are threaded through the
ducts and tensioned by hydraulic jacks acting against the ends of the member. The ends of the
tendons are then anchored.
Tendons are then bonded to the concrete by injecting grout into the ducts after the stressing
has been completed.
It is possible to use pre-cast concrete units which are post-tensioned together on site to form
the bridge deck.
Generally it is more economical to use post-tensioned construction for continuous structures
rather than insitu reinforced concrete at spans greater than 20 metres. For simply supported
spans it may b e economic to use a post-tensioned deck at spans greater than 20 metres.
Composite Decks

Composite Construction in bridge decks usually refers to the interaction between insitu
reinforced concrete and structural steel.
Three main economic advantages of composite construction are :
i.

For a given span and loading system a smaller depth of beam can be used than for a
concrete beam solution, which leads to economies in the approach embankments.

ii.

The cross-sectional area of the steel top flange can be reduced because the concrete
can be considered as part of it.

iii.

Transverse stiffening for the top compression flange of the steel beam can be reduced
because the restraint against buckling is provided by the concrete deck.

Typical Composite Deck

Construction Methods
It is possible to influence the load carried by a composite deck section in a number of ways
during the erection of a bridge.
By propping the steel beams while the deck slab is cast and until it has gained strength, then
the composite section can be considered to take the whole of the dead load. This method
appears attractive but is seldom used since propping can be difficult and usually costly.
With continuous spans the concrete slab will crack in the hogging regions and only the steel
reinforcement will be effective in the flexural resistance, unless the concrete is prestressed.
Generally the concrete deck is 220mm to 250mm thick with beams or plate girders between
2.5m and 3.5m spacing and depths between span/20 and span/30.
Composite action is developed by the transfer of horizontal shear forces between the concrete
deck and steel via shear studs which are welded to the steel girder. Typical types of
connectors are shown below, the stud connector being the most commonly used.

Stud Connector

Bar Connector

Channel Connector

Steel Truss Decks

Trusses are generally used for bridge spans between 30m and 150m where the construction
depth (deck soffit to road level) is limited. The small construction depth reduces the length
and height of the approach embankments that would be required for other deck forms. This
can have a significant effect on the overall cost of the structure, particularly where the
approach gradients cannot be steep as for railway bridges.

High fabrication and maintenance costs has made the truss type deck less popular in the UK;
labour costs being relatively high compared to material costs. Where material costs are
relatively high then the truss is still an economical solution. The form of construction also
allows the bridge to be fabricated in small sections off site which also makes transportation
easier, particularly in remote areas.

Choice of Truss

The underslung truss is the most economical as the deck provides support for the live load
and also braces the compression chord. There is however the problem of the headroom
clearance required under the deck which generally renders this truss only suitable for
unnavigable rivers or over flood planes.
Where underslung trusses are not possible, and the span is short, it may be economical to use
a half-through truss. Restraint to the compression flange is achieved by U frame action.
When the span is large, and the underslung truss cannot be used, then the through girder
provides the most economic solution. Restraint to the compression flange is provided by
bracing between the two top chords; this is more efficient than U frame support. The bracing
therefore has to be above the headroom requirement for traffic on the deck.
Cable Stayed Decks

Cable stayed bridges are generally used for bridge spans between 150m and 1000m. They are
often chosen for their aesthetics, but are generally economical for spans in excess of 250m.

Cable stayed girders were developed in Germany during the reconstruction period after the
last war and attributed largely to the works of Fritz Leonhardt. Straight cables are connected
directly to the deck and induce significant axial forces into the deck. The structure is
consequently self anchoring and depends less on the foundation conditions than the
suspension bridge.
The cables and the deck are erected at the same time which speeds up the construction time
and reduces the amount of temporary works required. The cable lengths are adjusted during
construction to counteract the dead load deflections of the deck due to extension in the cable.
Most early cable-stayed bridges have an orthotropic deck, mainly because the long span

bridges were usually built by steel companies. It was considered economical to use composite
slabs for spans up to about 250m. Developments in concrete technology have now allowed
higher grade strenghs to be used. This development, combined with the increased cost of
steel, has seen longer composite deck spans being used economically. Spans in excess of
600m are now being built using a steel-concrete composite box girder constuction.
Either box girders or plate girders (for the shorter spans) can be used in the deck, however if
a single plane of cables is used then it is essential to use the box girder construction to
achieve torsional stability.
Suspension Bridges

Suspension bridges are used for bridge spans in excess of 350m.

Some of the world's longest bridge main spans are:


Bridge Name (Country)
Main Span
Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (Japan)
1990m
Xihoumen Bridge (China)
1650m
Great Belt Bridge (Denmark)
1624m
Yi Sun-sin Bridge (South Korea)
1545m
Runyang Bridge (China)
1490m

Nanjing Fourth Yangtze Bridge (China)


1418m
Humber Bridge (UK)
1410m
Jiangyin Suspension Bridge (China)
1385m
Tsing Ma (Hong Kong)
1377m
Hardanger Bridge (Norway)
1310m
Verrazano Narrows (USA)
1298m
Golden Gate (USA)
1280m
Yangluo Bridge (China)
1280m
Hga Kusten Bridge (Sweden)
1210m
Aizhai Bridge (China)
1176m
Mackinac Bridge (USA)
1158m
Huangpu Bridge (China)
1108m
Minami Bisan-Seto Bridge (Japan)

1100m
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Turkey)
1090m
Balinghe Bridge (China)
1088m
Taizhou Bridge (China)
1080m
Maanshan Bridge (China)
1158m
Bosporus Bridge(Turkey)
1074m
George Washington Bridge(USA)
1067m
Third Kurushima-Kaiky Bridge (Japan)
1030m
Second Kurushima-Kaiky Bridge (Japan)
1020m
25 de Abril Bridge [formerly Salazar Bridge] (Portugal)
1013m
Forth Road Bridge (UK)
1006m
Kita Bisan-Seto Bridge (Japan)
990m
Severn Bridge (UK)
988m

Yichang Bridge (China)


960m
Tacoma Narrows (USA)
853m
A number of early suspension bridges were designed without the appreciation of wind effects.
Large deflections were developed in the flexible decks and wind loading created unstable
oscillations. The problem was largely solved by using inclined hangers.
The suspension bridge is essentially a catenary cable prestressed by dead weight. The cables
are guided over the support towers to ground anchors. The stiffened deck is supported mainly
by vertical or inclined hangers.

Eurocodes
EN 1991-1-1: Actions on Structures - General Actions
EN 1991-1-4: Actions on Structures - Wind Actions
EN 1991-1-5: Actions on Structures - Thermal Actions
EN 1991-1-7: Actions on Structures - Accidental Actions
EN 1991-2: Actions on Structures - Traffic Loads on Bridges
EN 1992-1-1: Design of Concrete Structures - General Rules
EN 1992-2: Design of Concrete Structures - Bridges
EN 1993-5: Design of Steel Structures - Piling
EN 1997-1: Geotechnical Design - General Rules
EN 1997-2: Geotechnical Design - Ground Investigation
EN 1998-2: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Bridges
EN 1998-5: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Geotechnical
Aspects
Each document is accompanied by a National Annex
British Standards
BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
BS 5400: Part 3: Code of Practice for the Design of Steel Bridges
BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the Design of Concrete Bridges
BS 8500: Concrete - Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1
BS 8002: Earth Retaining Structures
BS 8004: Foundations
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
BD10: Design of Highway Structures in Areas of Mining Subsidence
BA25: Piled Foundations
BD32: Piled Foundations

BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges


BD42: Design of Embedded Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
BD74: Foundations
Technical Papers
CIRIA Report C660 - Early-age thermal crack control in concrete.
Choice of Foundation

Foundation types depend primarily on the depth and safe bearing pressures of the bearing
stratum, also restrictions placed on differential settlement due to the type of bridge deck.
Generally in the case of simply supported bridge decks differential settlements of about 20 to
25 mm can be tolerated, whereas multi-span continuous decks 10 mm is usually considered
as a maximum.
Bridge foundations generally fall into two categories:
i.

Strip footings, one for each pier and abutment. However, it is sometimes convenient
to split the deck into two halves longitudinally along the centre line, this is then
continued to the footing.

ii.

Piled foundations.

It is possible to have a combination of both (i.e. piers being piled with abutments on strip
footings).

Design Considerations
The design of foundations comprise of the following stages :
i.

From the site investigation report decide upon which stratum to impose the structure
load and its safe bearing pressure.

ii.

Select the type of foundation, possibly comparing the suitability of several types.

iii.

Design the foundation to transfer and distribute the loads from the structure to the
ground. Ensure that the factor of safety against shear failure in the soil is not reached
and settlement is within the allowable limits.

Strip Footings
The overall size of strip footings is determined by considering the effects of vertical and
rotational loads. The combination of these two must neither exceed the safe bearing capacity
of the stratum or produce uplift. The thickness of the footings is generally about 0.8 to 1.0 m
but must be capable of withstanding moments and shears produced by piers or abutments.

The critical shearing stress may be assumed to occur on a plane at a distance equal to the
effective depth of the base from the face of the column.
Cover to reinforcement should never be less than values given in BS 5400: Part 4: Table 13,
and crack control calculation must be carried out to ensure the crack width is less than
0.25mm (Table 1). Cover to reinforcement will need to be increased to comply with BS 8500
requirements.

Piled Foundations
The type of piles generally used for bridge foundations are :
a. Driven Piles; preformed piles of concrete or steel driven by blows of a power hammer
or jacked into the ground.
b. Preformed Driven Cast In-Situ Piles; formed by driving a hollow steel tube with a
closed end and filling the tube with concrete.
c. Driven Cast In-Situ Piles; formed by driving a hollow steel tube with a closed end and
filling the tube with concrete, simultaneously withdrawing the tube.
d. Bored and Cast In-Situ Piles; formed by boring a hole and filling it with concrete.
a. to c. are known as displacement piles, and the problems of calculating the load carrying
capacity and settlement require a different approach to that for bored piles.
Driven type piles can, depending on the strata, be either end bearing or friction piles;
sometimes a combination of both.
Bored piles are generally end bearing and are often of large diameter. To increase their
bearing capacity the bottom can be under-reamed to produce a greater bearing area. However,
additional safety precautions are required with larger diameter piles.
A specialist form of pile consisting of stone aggregate consolidated by water or air using the
'Vibroflotation' technique is suitable in some granular soils.
Choice of pile type depends largely on the strata which they pass through, none of them
however give the most economic and satisfactory solution under all conditions.
The art of selecting the right sort of pile lies in rejecting all those types which are obviously
unsuited to the particular set of circumstances and then choosing from those which remain,
the one which produces the most economical solution.
Concurrently with the choice of pile type must go the choice of the strata which will carry the
main loads from the structure, because this very often influences the choice. In most all cases
the rejection of conventional pad or strip foundations arises because the computed settlement
is more than the structure can safely withstand and hence the main purpose of the piled
foundation will be to reduce this settlement. It follows, therefore, that if more compressible
strata exists within reasonable distance of the surface, it is very desirable that a high
proportion of the foundation load should be carried by this more stable strata; the ideal
solution is where piles support the load wholly in end bearing on hard rock where the
settlement will be negligible. It follows that piles wholly embedded in the same soil that
would under-lie a conventional foundation has very little effect in reducing settlement. With
soft normally consolidated alluvial clays, the remoulding effect of driven piles may well

increase the settlement of the soil under its own dead weight and thus increase the settlement
of the foundation itself.

Aspects of design of piled foundations which influence choice of pile type


All foundations must satisfy two criteria, no shear failure in the soil and no excessive
settlement; piled foundations also have to meet this criteria. There are well established
methods for ensuring that the first criteria is met, but the second presents more of a problem.
The working load of an individual pile is based on providing an adequate factor of safety
against the soil under the toe failing in shear and the adhesion between the shaft and the soil
surrounding it passing its ultimate value and the whole pile sinking further into the ground.
There are basically four methods for assessing this effect :
i.

Through soil parameters i.e. summing shaft friction and bearing capacity. The
ultimate bearing capacity is usually modified to compensate for the driving effect of
the pile.

ii.

By means of test piles.

iii.

By means of dynamic formulae i.e. Hiley formulae which equates the energy required
to drive the pile with its ultimate bearing capacity.

iv.

Piling contractors 'know how'.

Eurocodes
EN 1991-1-1: Actions on Structures - General Actions
EN 1991-1-7: Actions on Structures - Accidental Actions
EN 1991-2: Actions on Structures - Traffic Loads on Bridges
EN 1992-1-1: Design of Concrete Structures - General Rules
EN 1992-2: Design of Concrete Structures - Bridges
EN 1993-5: Design of Steel Structures - Piling
EN 1997-1: Geotechnical Design - General Rules
EN 1998-2: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Bridges
EN 1998-5: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance - Geotechnical
Aspects
Each document is accompanied by a National Annex
British Standards
BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the Design of Concrete Bridges
BS 8002: Code of Practice for Earth Retaining Structures
BS 8006: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills
BS 8500: Concrete - Complementary British Standard to BS EN 206-1
BS 8666: Specification for scheduling, dimensioning, bending and cutting of

steel reinforcement for concrete


Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
BD30: Backfilled Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
BA41: The Design and Appearance of Bridges
BD42: Design of Embedded Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments
BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
BD68: Crib Retaining Walls
BD70: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills for Retaining Walls
and Bridge Abutments
Technical Papers
CIRIA Report C660 - Early-age thermal crack control in concrete.
Choice of Wing Wall

Wing walls are essentially retaining walls adjacent to the abutment. The walls can be
independent or integral with the abutment wall.

Providing the bridge skew angle is small (less than 20), and the cutting/embankment slopes
are reasonably steep (about 1 in 2), then the wing wall cantilevering from the abutment wall
is likely to give the most economical solution.

Splayed wing walls can provide even more of an economy in material costs but the detailing
and fixing of the steel reinforcement is more complicated than the conventional wall.
Design Considerations
Loads effects to be considered on the rear of the wall are:
i.

Earth pressures from the backfill material.

ii.

Surcharge from live loading or compacting plant.

iii.

Hydraulic loads from saturated soil conditions.

The stability of the wall is generally designed to resist 'active' earth pressures (Ka); whilst the
structural elements are designed to resist 'at rest' earth pressures (Ko). The concept is that 'at
rest' pressures are developed initially and the structural elements should be designed to
accommodate these loads without failure. The loads will however reduce to 'active' pressure
when the wall moves, either by rotating or sliding. Consequently the wall will stabilise if it
moves under 'at rest' pressures providing it is designed to resist 'active' earth pressures.

Geometry for splayed wing walls

Plan on Wing Wall


X = slope to road under bridge
Y = slope from road over bridge
L = length of sloping wall
K = length of horizontal wall
V = verge width to end of wall
Z1 = level at bottom of embankment
Z2 = level at back of verge on road over bridge
Zw = ground level at end of wall
= angle of wall to road under bridge
= skew angle ( -ve if < 90)

Zw = Z1 + 1/x [(L+K)Sin]
Zw = Z2 - [(L+K) Cos + (L+K) SinTan - V/Cos ] Cos / Y
L + K = [ X Y (Z2 - Z1) + V X ] / [ X Cos ( - ) + Y Sin] ..................eqn.(1)
For minimum length of wall dL/d = 0
ie. Tan = Tan + Y / X Cos
For known lengths of wall (L+K) two values of can be obtained from eqn.(1).
From eqn.(1) -(A+B)Tan2(/2) + 2(C+Y)Tan(/2) + (B-A) = 0
Where A = [XY(Z2 - Z1) + VX] / [L + K] , B = X Cos , and C = X Sin
Example
Wall
Z1

Z2
V
X
Y

Level
at
top of
wall
(L+K)
Max
&
Min

Zw
Kmax
N/E
56.6
63.6
2.2
2.0
2.0
10.5
63.0
11.0
68.1
to
32.4

32.5
59.6
4.1
S/E
56.9
64.2
2.0
2.0
2.0
-27.0
63.6
15.9
31.5
31.5
61.1
10.8
S/W
57.2
64.4
0.8
2.6
2.0
27.7
63.8
12.2

89.3
to
18.5
30.0
59.6
3.8
Minimum Lengths :N/E Wall : L+K = 10.437 @ = 50.25
S/E Wall : L+K = 15.889 @ = 31.5
S/W Wall : L+K = 9.996 @ = 54.37
Choice of Parapet

BS EN 1317-1:1998 describes a Vehicle Parapet as a safety barrier that is installed on the


edge of a bridge or on a retaining wall or similar structure where there is a vertical drop, and
which may contain additional protection and restraint for pedestrians and other road users.

Manufacturers have developed and tested parapets to meet the containment standards
specified in the codes. Much of the earlier testing work was involved with achieving a
parapet which would absorb the impact load and not deflect the vehicle back into the line of
adjacent traffic. The weight of vehicle, speed of impact and angle of impact influence the
behaviour of the parapet. Consequently a level of containment has been adopted to minimise
the risk to traffic using the bridge (above and below the deck).
BS EN 1317-2 1998 specifies criteria for vehicle impact tests on parapets for various
containment levels. The containment levels adopted by TD 19/06 (Design Manual for Roads
and Bridges Volume 2, Section 2, Part 8) require testing to be carried out for various vehicles
impacting the parapet at an angle of 20o.
The vehicle impact test criteria for various containment levels as follows :

Parapet Containment Level


Test Vehicle
Impact Speed
N1
Normal Containment (Formerly P2{80})
1.5t car
80 km/h
N2
Normal Containment Level (Formerly P1, P2{113} & P5)
1.5t car
110 km/h

H2
Higher Containment Level
13t bus
70 km/h
H4a
Very High Containment Level (Formerly P6)
30t Rigid HGV
65 km/h

Metal Parapets are designed and tested by manufactures who apply to the Highways Agency
to be included on an Approved List. A copy of the "Highways Agency's Approved Road
Restraint System List" can be obtained from their website
http://www.dft.gov.uk/ha/standards/tech_info/en_1317_compliance.htm
TD19/06 is the current design standard which requires carrying out a risk assessment to
identify the hazards and minimise the risks to the road users.
The risk assessment is documented by using an Excel spreadsheet, a copy of which can be
obtained from the Highways Agency's website
http://www.dft.gov.uk/ha/standards/tech_info/rrrap.htm
A user-guide is also available on the same web-page.
TD 19/06 also directs the designer to use BS 6779 and BS 7818 for the design of specific
elements of parapets.
BS 6779: 1998 - Highway Parapets for Bridges and Other Structures.
Part 1: Metal Parapets for the provision of infill to parapets (see TD 19/06 clause 4.29, 4.39,
4.40)
Part 2: Concrete Parapets for the design of reinforced concrete parapets with some
amendments (see TD 19/06 clauses 4.56 to 4.60)
Part 4: Reinforced and Unreinforced Masonry Parapets to assess the containment capacity of
existing masonry parapets (see TD 19/06 clause 4.62)
BS 7818: 1995: Pedestrian Metal Parapets
This Standard is required for the manufacture and installation of pedestrian restraint systems
until such times as the drafting of prEN 1317-6 is completed (see TD 19/06 clause 9.3).
Design Considerations

Information required to be supplied to metal parapet manufacturers is listed in TD19/06,


namely:

Containment Level (N1, N2, H2, H4a);

Impact Severity Level (ISL) (Normally Class B);

Working Width Class (W1 to W5);

The height;

The length;

Concrete parapets are ideal for very high containment parapets due to their significant mass.
Steel parapets are generally the cheapest solution for the normal containment. This is
significant if the site is prone to accidents and parapet maintenance is likely to be regular. The
steelwork does however require painting and is usually pretreated with hot-dip galvanising.
Aluminium parapets do not require surface protection and maintenance costs will be reduced
if the parapet does not require replacing through damage. The initial cost is however high and
special attention to fixing bolts is required to prevent the parapets from being stolen for their
high scrap value. Aluminium also provides a significant weight saving over the steel parapet.
This is sometimes important for parapets on moving bridges.
Choice of Pier

Wherever possible slender piers should be used so that there is sufficient flexibility to allow
temperature, shrinkage and creep effects to be transmitted to the abutments without the need
for bearings at the piers, or intermediate joints in the deck.
A slender bridge deck will usually look best when supported by slender piers without the
need for a downstand crosshead beam. It is the proportions and form of the bridge as a whole
which are vitally important rather than the size of an individual element viewed in isolation.

Different Pier Shapes

Different Pier Shapes

Design Considerations
Loads transmitted by the bridge deck onto the pier are :
i.

Vertical loads from self weight of deck

ii.

Vertical loads from live loading conditions

iii.

Horizontal loads from temperature, creep movements etc and wind

iv.

Rotations due to deflection of the bridge deck.

The overall configuration of the bridge will determine the combination of loads and
movements that have to be designed for. For example if the pier has a bearing at its top,
corresponding to a structural pin joint, then the horizontal movements will impose moments
at the base, their magnitude will depend on the pier flexibility.
Sometimes special requirements are imposed by rail or river authorities if piers are positioned
within their jurisdiction. In the case of river authorities a 'cut water' may be required to assist
the river flow, or independent fenders to protect the pier from impact from boats or floating
debris. A similar arrangement is often required by the rail authorities to prevent minor
derailments striking the pier. Whereas the pier has to be designed to resist major derailments.
Also if the pier should be completely demolished by a train derailment then the deck should
not collapse.
Choice of Deck Joint

Current practice is to make decks integral with the abutments. The objective is to avoid the
use of joints over abutments and piers. Expansion joints are prone to leak and allow the
ingress of de-icing salts into the bridge deck and substructure. In general all bridges are made
continuous over intermediate supports and decks under 60 metres long with skews not
exceeding 30 are made integral with their abutments.
Where it is intended not to use road salts, or the deck and substructure have been designed to
incorporate deck joints then the following guidance is given in BD 33/94 for the range of
movements that can be accommodated by the various joint types:

JOINT TYPE

TOTAL ACCEPTABLE
LONGITUDINAL
MOVEMENT
Min
(mm)
Max
(mm)
MAXIMUM ACCEPTABLE
VERTICAL MOVEMENT
BETWEEN TWO SIDES
OF JOINT (mm)
1. Buried joint under
continuous surfacing.
5
20
1.3
2. Asphaltic Plug joint.
5
40
3
3. Nosing joint with
poured sealant.
5

12
3
4. Nosing with preformed
compression seal.
5
40
3
5. Reinforced Elastomeric.
5
*
3
6. Elastomeric in metal
runners.
5
*
3
7. Cantilever comb or
tooth joint.
25
*
3

The minimum of the range is given to indicate when the type of joint may not be economical.
* Maximum value varies according to manufacturer or type.

Thermal Movements
BS 5400 Part 2 Chapter 5.4 specifies maximum and minimum effective bridge temperatures
which have to be accommodated in the bridge structure.
The width of joint between the end of the deck and the abutment is set during construction of
the bridge; usually when the concrete curtain wall is cast. The maximum expansion of the
deck is therefore determined from the minimum effective temperature at which the curtain
wall is allowed to to be cast; usually 2C. Hence if a maximum effective temperature of 40C
is calculated from BS 5400 Part 2 then a joint width will have to be provided at the end of the
deck to allow for an expansion caused by a temperature increase of (40-2)=38C.
The maximum contraction of the deck is determined in a similar manner, but using a nominal
effective temperature at which the joint is set.
Having determined the range of movement at the joint then the type of joint can be specified.
The nominal effective temperature used in the calculations will also have to be specified to
enable the correct adjustments to be made on site when the joints are set.
http://www.bridgedesign.org.uk/index.html

Choice of Abutment

Current practice is to make decks integral with the abutments. The objective is to avoid the
use of joints over abutments and piers. Expansion joints are prone to leak and allow the
ingress of de-icing salts into the bridge deck and substructure. In general all bridges are made
continuous over intermediate supports, and decks under 60 metres long with skews not
exceeding 30 are made integral with their abutments.

Full height integral abutments (DfT BA 42/96 call Frame Abutments) are generally used for
the shorter spans (< about 20m).

Integral abutments with piled foundations (DfT BA 42/96 call Embedded Abutments) usually
incorporate steel H piles in a single row; the H piles are orientated so that bending occurs
about their weaker axis. These abutments are suitable for the larger span decks.

Integral abutments with spread footings (DfT BA 42/96 call Bank Pad Abutments) should
only be used where settlement due to consolidation of founding strata is minimal.
Where decks exceed 60 metres long or have skews exceeding 30 then movement joints and
bearings usually need to be provided.
Geometric Considerations

Open Side Span with Bank Seats

Solid Side Span with Full Height Abutments


Usually the narrow bridge is cheaper in the open abutment form and the wide bridge is
cheaper in the solid abutment form. The exact transition point between the two types depends

very much on the geometry and the site of the particular bridge. In most cases the open
abutment solution has a better appearance and is less intrusive on the general flow of the
ground contours and for these reasons is to be preferred. It is the cost of the wing walls when
related to the deck costs which swings the balance of cost in favour of the solid abutment
solution for wider bridges. However the wider bridges with solid abutments produce a
tunnelling effect and costs have to be considered in conjunction with the proper functioning
of the structure where fast traffic is passing beneath. Solid abutments for narrow bridges
should only be adopted where the open abutment solution is not possible. In the case of wide
bridges the open abutment solution is to be preferred, but there are many cases where
economy must be the overriding consideration.

Design Considerations
Loads transmitted by the bridge deck onto the abutment are :
i.

Vertical loads from self weight of deck.

ii.

Vertical loads from live loading conditions.

iii.

Horizontal loads from temperature, creep movements etc and wind.

iv.

Horizontal loads from braking and skidding effects of vehicles.

These loads are carried by the bearings which are seated on the abutment bearing platform.
The horizontal loads may be reduced by depending on the coefficient of friction of the
bearings at the movement joint in the structure.
However, the full braking effect is to be taken, in either direction, on top of the abutment at
carriageway level.
In addition to the structure loads, horizontal pressures exerted by the fill material against the
abutment walls is to be considered. Also a vertical loading from the weight of the fill acts on
the footing.
Vehicle loads at the rear of the abutments are considered by applying a surcharge load on the
rear of the wall.
For certain short single span structures it is possible to use the bridge deck to prop the two
abutments apart. This entails the abutment wall being designed as a propped cantilever.

Abutment Design to BD 30 and EN 1997-1


Index
1.Earth pressures
2.Abutment Construction

3.Loading
4.Stability
5.Design Example to BD 30 or EN 1997-1

1.Earth Pressures

Active earth pressures (Ka h) are considered to ensure that the abutment is stable.

At rest earth pressures (Ko h) are considered to ensure that the structural elements are
adequate.

Passive earth pressures (Kp h) are only considered for integral abutments or where
shear keys are provided.

At rest pressures are initially developed on the back of the abutment wall during construction
and whilst the backfill is compacting. Consequently the structural elements have to be
designed to resist the effects of these pressures.
Any movements in the structure caused by the at rest pressure, either through rotation or
deflection will reduce the pressure on the back of the wall; a state of equilibrium is reached
when the pressure reduces to the active earth pressure value. Consequently the stability of the
structure can be checked by using active earth pressures.
Passive pressures are developed when the structure pushes against the soil. Since movements
required to develop passive pressures are considerably greater than that for active pressures,
and the structure is designed to ensure that the foundations do not slide under active
pressures, then it is unlikely that passive pressures will be developed in front of the abutment.
The magnitude of movement required to mobilise passive pressure can be determined from
EN 1997-1:2004 Clause C.3(2) and PD 6694-1:2011 Clause 7.5. There is also the chance that,
at some time in the future, the soil in front of the abutment may be removed temporarily. This
could happen if services, such as drainage pipes, water or gas mains, are installed or repaired
in front of the abutment. Consequently the structure needs to be designed to be stable with no
soil in front of the concrete footings.
If shear keys are required to prevent sliding then the key should be located under the rear half
of the base and a factored value of passive pressure is used.
Integral bridges experience passive pressures on the back of the abutment wall when the deck
expands. The design of integral abutments is covered in BA 42, PD 6694-1 and a number of
publications, such as Integral Abutments for Prestressed Beam Bridges by B A Nicholson,
and Composite Highway Bridge Design by D C Iles give guidance and examples.

2.Abutment Construction

Departmental Standard BD 30 gives recommendations for the layout of backfilled cantilever


retaining walls with spread footings or piled foundations.
The layout of the abutment will have implications on the design which need to be considered.

The provision of a drainage layer will allow porewater pressures to be ignored (unless there is
a possibility of a large water main bursting). However the drainge layer separates the backfill
soil from the wall so back of wall friction should not be included. Traffic vibration will also
affect any vertical friction effects on the back of the wall.
Foundation level is usually set at least one metre below ground level to avoid deterioration of
the foundation material through frost action. If services, such as gas pipes, water mains,
electricity cables etc., may be installed in front of the abutment wall then the depth to
foundation level may need to be increased to allow the services to be installed above the
concrete footing.

It is usual to provide granular backfill to the back of the wall which limits the material to
Class 6N or 6P as defined in the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works Volume
1 Specification Series 600 Clause 610 and Table 6/1. A typical value for the effective angle of
internal friction (') for Class 6N or 6P material is 35o. This equates to serviceability limit
state values of:
Ka = (1-Sin') / (1+Sin') = 0.27
Ko = (1-Sin') = 0.43
3.Loading
Loading from the deck is applied to the abutment through the bearings. Maximum vertical
bearing loads are obtained from the deck analysis; these loads, together with the type of
restraint required to support the deck, will dictate the type of bearing provided.

Horizontal loads from the deck are produced by wind loading, temperature effects, creep
movements, traction, braking and skidding loads, collision loads when high level of
containment parapets are used, and centrifugal loads if the horizontal radius of curvature of
the carriageway is less than 1000 metres when using BS 5400-2, or 1500 metres when using
EN 1991-2.
Longitudinal loads from temperature effects in the deck will be determined according to the
type of bearing used. Elastomeric bearings are effectively 'glued' in place between the deck
soffit and the abutment bearing plinth so that the bearing has to distort when the deck
expands and contracts. The longitudinal force produced by this distortion is proportional to
the shear stiffness of the bearing and the magnitude of the movement.
Sliding bearings, on the other hand, produce a longitudinal load which is proportional to the
dead(permanent) load reaction and the coefficient of friction between the sliding surfaces.
The cofficient of friction () varies between 0.01 and 0.08 depending on the type of bearing
and bearing stress (see BS 5400 Part 9:1, Tables 2 and 3).

Free abutment with sliding bearings

Both abutments with elastomeric bearings only

Free abutment with elastomeric bearings


The longitudinal load from the temperature effect will act equally on both abutments. If
sliding bearings are used then the load transmitted is equal to the friction at the bearing under
dead and superimposed dead loads (permanent actions). If elastomeric bearings are used then
the load transmitted is equal to the force required to distort the bearing by the distance the
deck expands or contracts.

Free abutment with sliding or elastomeric bearings

Both abutments with elastomeric bearings only

The deck is very stiff in the axial direction so horizontal loads will have negligible effect on
the length of the deck. Hence longitudinal loads due to traction, braking and skidding are
assumed to be transmitted to the fixed abutment only. If only elastomeric bearings are used,
i.e. there is no fixed abutment, then the loads due to traction, braking and skidding are shared
between the two abutments.

Transverse loads on the deck will be transmitted to the abutment through the fixed and
sliding-guided bearings only. These loads are unlikely to have an effect on the stability of a
full height abutment, but the bearing plinths need to be designed to resist the loads. The
stability of small abutments, such as bank seats, may need to be checked for these loads.
Live loading at the rear of the abutment is represented by a surcharge loading (see BS 5400
Part 2:2006 clause 5.8.2 or PD 6694-1:2011 clause 7.6). Traction, braking and skidding loads
at the rear of the abutment are not required to be consider when using EN 1991-2:2003 (see
clause 4.9.2). The curtain wall (also called upstand wall or ballast wall) does however need to
be designed for braking forces.
Vehicle collision on abutments need not normally be considered as they are assumed to have
sufficient mass to withstand the collision loads for global purposes (See BD 60/04 clause 2.2,
or NA to BS EN 1991-1-7:2006 clause NA.2.13).

4.Stability
Stability of the abutment is determined by considering:

Sliding

Overturning

Failure of the foundation soil

Slip failure of the surrounding soil

A comprehensive Ground Investigation Report is essential for the design of the bridge
structure. Boreholes need to provide information about the nature of the ground below the
foundations. Adequate sampling and testing also need to be carrried out to obtain design
parameters for allowable bearing pressures, together with friction and cohesion values of the
soil at foundation level.

When using BD 30 sliding and overturning effects are calculated using nominal loads and
active earth pressures. A factor of safety of 2.0 is used to ensure that the abutment is stable
against sliding and overturning.
When using EN 1997-1:2004 stability needs to be considered at serviceability and ultimate
limit states.
Several load cases need to be considered to ensure all loading conditions are catered for.

Construction sequences also need to be considered. The abutment wall will often be
constructed and backfilled up to bearing shelf level; this provides good access for the deck
construction. A surcharge load can be applied to the wall by the construction plant used to
compact the backfill. This surcharge load, together with the active backfill earth pressures,
will be acting on the back of the wall without the stabilising effects of the dead load from the
deck and can result in a critical loading case.
Allowable bearing pressures are obtained from the Ground Investigation Survey. An
allowable pressure is usually determined to limit settlement to about 20 to 25mm. An
alternative is provided in EN 1997-1:2004 to limit the maximum SLS pressure under the
foundation to a fraction of the ground strength; PD 6694-1:2011 clause 5.2.2 clarifies this
fraction to be one third. As the allowable pressure will be dependent on the size of foundation
and loads applied then there will need to be an initial assessment of the loads and foundation
sizes before an allowable pressure can be given. This results in some redesigning until the
correct base size, applied loads and allowable bearing pressures are obtained.
BS 8002 says that instability of the earth mass involving a slip failure may occur where:

the wall is built on sloping ground which itself is close to limiting equilibrium; or

the structure is underlain by a significant depth of clay whose undrained strength


increases only gradually with depth; or

the strata is founded on a relatively strong stratum underlain by weaker strata; or

the structure is underlain by strata within which high pore water pressures may
develop from natural or artificial sources.

If none of these conditions are present then a slip failure analysis will not be necessary.

Abutment Design Example to BD 30

Design the fixed and free end cantilever abutments to the 20m span deck shown to carry HA
and 45 units of HB loading. Analyse the abutments using a unit strip method. The bridge site
is located south east of Oxford (to establish the range of shade air temperatures).
Vehicle collision on the abutments need not be considered as they are assumed to have
sufficient mass to withstand the collision loads for global purposes (See BD 60/04 Clause
2.2).

The ground investigation report shows suitable founding strata about 9.5m below the
proposed road level. Test results show the founding strata to be a cohesionless soil having an
angle of shearing resistance () = 30o and a safe bearing capacity of 400kN/m2.
Backfill material will be Class 6N with an effective angle of internal friction (') = 35o and
density () = 19kN/m3.

The proposed deck consists of 11No. Y4 prestressed concrete beams and concrete deck slab
as shown.
Loading From the Deck

A grillage analysis gave the following reactions for the various load cases:
Critical Reaction Under One Beam

Nominal Reaction
(kN)
Ultimate Reaction
(kN)
Concrete Deck
180
230
Surfacing
30
60
HA udl+kel
160
265
45 units HB
350
500
Total Reaction on Each Abutment

Nominal Reaction
(kN)
Ultimate Reaction
(kN)
Concrete Deck
1900

2400
Surfacing
320
600
HA udl+kel
1140
1880
45 units HB
1940
2770
Nominal loading on 1m length of abutment:
Deck Dead Load = (1900 + 320) / 11.6 = 191kN/m
HA live Load on Deck = 1140 / 11.6 = 98kN/m
HB live Load on Deck = 1940 / 11.6 = 167kN/m
From BS 5400 Part 2 Figures 7 and 8 the minimum and maximum shade air temperatures are
-19 and +37oC respectively.
For a Group 4 type strucutre (see fig. 9) the corresponding minimum and maximum effective
bridge temperatures are -11 and +36oC from tables 10 and 11.
Hence the temperature range = 11 + 36 = 47oC.
From Clause 5.4.6 the range of movement at the free end of the 20m span deck = 47 12
10-6 20 103 = 11.3mm.
The ultimate thermal movement in the deck will be [(11.3 / 2) f3 fL] = [11.3 1.1 1.3 /
2] = 8mm.
Option 1 - Elastomeric Bearing:
With a maximum ultimate reaction = 230 + 60 + 500 = 790kN then a suitable elastomeric
bearing would be Ekspan's Elastomeric Pad :Bearing EKR35:

Maximum Load = 1053kN

Shear Deflection = 13.3mm

Shear Stiffness = 12.14kN/mm

Bearing Thickness = 19mm

Note: the required shear deflection (8mm) should be limited to between 30% to 50% of the
thickness of the bearing. The figure quoted in the catalogue for the maximum shear deflection
is 70% of the thickness.
A tolerance is also required for setting the bearing if the ambient temperature is not at the mid
range temperature. The design shade air temperature range will be -19 to +37oC which would
require the bearings to be installed at a shade air temperature of [(37+19)/2 -19] = 9oC to
achieve the 8mm movement.
If the bearings are set at a maximum shade air temperature of 16oC then, by proportion the
deck will expand 8(37-16)/[(37+19)/2] = 6mm and contract 8(16+19)/[(37+19)/2] =
10mm.
Let us assume that this maximum shade air temperature of 16oC for fixing the bearings is
specified in the Contract and design the abutments accordingly.
Horizontal load at bearing for 10mm contraction = 12.14 10 = 121kN.
This is an ultimate load hence the nominal horizontal load = 121 / 1.1 / 1.3 = 85kN at each
bearing.
Total horizontal load on each abutment = 11 85 = 935 kN 935 / 11.6 = 81kN/m.
Alternatively using BS 5400 Part 9.1 Clause 5.14.2.6:
H = AGr/tq
Using the Ekspan bearing EKR35

Maximum Load = 1053kN

Area = 610 420 = 256200mm2

Nominl hardness = 60 IRHD

Bearing Thickness = 19mm

Shear modulus G from Table 8 = 0.9N/mm2


H = 256200 0.9 10-3 10 / 19 = 121kN
This correllates with the value obtained above using the shear stiffness from the
manufacturer's data sheet.
Option 2 - Sliding Bearing:
With a maximum ultimate reaction of 790kN and longitudinal movement of 8mm then a
suitable bearing from the Ekspan EA Series would be /80/210/25/25:

Maximum Load = 800kN

Base Plate A dimension = 210mm

Base Plate B dimension = 365mm

Movement X = 12.5mm

BS 5400 Part 2 - Clause 5.4.7.3:


Average nominal dead load reaction = (1900 + 320) / 11 = 2220 / 11 = 200kN

Contact pressure under base plate = 200000 / (210 365) = 3N/mm2


As the mating surface between the stainless steel and PTFE is smaller than the base plate then
the pressure between the sliding faces will be in the order of 5N/mm2.
From Table3 of BS 5400 Part 9.1 the Coefficient of friction = 0.08 for a bearing stress of
5N/mm2
Hence total horizontal load on each abutment when the deck expands or contracts = 2220
0.08 = 180kN 180 / 11.6 = 16kN/m.
Traction and Braking Load - BS 5400 Part 2 Clause 6.10:
Nominal Load for HA = 8kN/m 20m + 250kN = 410kN
Nominal Load for HB = 25% of 45units 10kN 4axles = 450kN
450 > 410kN hence HB braking is critical.
Braking load on 1m width of abutment = 450 / 11.6 = 39kN/m.
When this load is applied on the deck it will act on the fixed abutment only.
Skidding Load - BS 5400 Part 2 Clause 6.11:
Nominal Load = 300kN
300 < 450kN hence braking load is critical in the longitudinal direction.
When this load is applied on the deck it will act at bearing shelf level, and will not affect the
free abutment if sliding bearings are used.
Loading at Rear of Abutment

Backfill
For Stability calculations use active earth pressures = Ka h
Ka for Class 6N material = (1-Sin35) / (1+Sin35) = 0.27
Density of Class 6N material = 19kN/m3
Active Pressure at depth h = 0.27 19 h = 5.13h kN/m2
Hence Fb = 5.13h2/2 = 2.57h2kN/m
Surcharge - BS 5400 Part 2 Clause 5.8.2:
For HA loading surcharge = 10 kN/m2

For HB loading surcharge = 20 kN/m2


Assume a surchage loading for the compaction plant to be equivalent to 30 units of HB
Hence Compaction Plant surcharge = 12 kN/m2.
For surcharge of w kN/m2 :
Fs = Ka w h = 0.27wh kN/m
1) Stability Check

Initial Sizing for Base Dimensions


There are a number of publications that will give guidance on base sizes for free standing
cantilever walls, Reynolds's Reinforced Concrete Designer's Handbook being one such book.
Alternatively a simple spreadsheet will achieve a result by trial and error.
Load Combinations

Backfill + Construction surcharge

Backfill + HA surcharge + Deck dead load + Deck contraction

Backfill + HA surcharge + Braking behind abutment + Deck dead load

Backfill + HB surcharge + Deck dead load

Backfill + HA surcharge + Deck dead load + HB on deck

Backfill + HA surcharge + Deck dead load + HA on deck + Braking on deck


(Not applied to free abutment if sliding bearings are provided)
CASE 1 - Fixed Abutment

Density of reinforced concrete = 25kN/m3.


Weight of wall stem = 1.0 6.5 25 = 163kN/m

Weight of base = 6.4 1.0 25 = 160kN/m


Weight of backfill = 4.3 6.5 19 = 531kN/m
Weight of surcharge = 4.3 12 = 52kN/m
Backfill Force Fb = 0.27 19 7.52 / 2 = 144kN/m
Surcharge Force Fs = 0.27 12 7.5 = 24 kN/m
Restoring Effects:

Weight
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Stem
163
1.6
261
Base
160
3.2
512
Backfill
531
4.25
2257
Surcharge
52
4.25
221
=

906
=
3251
Overturning Effects:

F
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Backfill
144
2.5
361
Surcharge
24
3.75
91
=
168
=
452
Factor of Safety Against Overturning = 3251 / 452 = 7.2 > 2.0 OK.
For sliding effects:
Active Force = Fb + Fs = 168kN/m
Frictional force on underside of base resisting movement = W tan() = 906 tan(30o) =
523kN/m
Factor of Safety Against Sliding = 523 / 168 = 3.1 > 2.0 OK.

Bearing Pressure:
Check bearing pressure at toe and heel of base slab = (P / A) (P e / Z) where P e is the
moment about the centre of the base.
P = 906kN/m
A = 6.4m2/m
Z = 6.42 / 6 = 6.827m3/m
Nett moment = 3251 - 452 = 2799kNm/m
Eccentricity (e) of P about centre-line of base = 3.2 - (2799 / 906) = 0.111m
Pressure under base = (906 / 6.4) (906 0.111 / 6.827)
Pressure under toe = 142 + 15 = 157kN/m2 < 400kN/m2 OK.
Pressure under heel = 142 - 15 = 127kN/m2
Hence the abutment will be stable for Case 1.
Analysing the fixed abutment with Load Cases 1 to 6 and the free abutment with Load Cases
1 to 5 using a simple spreadsheet the following results were obtained:
Fixed Abutment:

F of S
Overturning
F of S
Sliding
Bearing
Pressure at Toe
Bearing
Pressure at Heel
Case 1
7.16
3.09
156
127
Case 2
2.87
2.13

386
5
Case 2a
4.31
2.64
315
76
Case 3
3.43
2.43
351
39
Case 4
4.48
2.63
322
83
Case 5
5.22
3.17
362
81
Case 6
3.80
2.62

378
43

F of S
Overturning
F of S
Sliding
Case 1
7.16
3.09
Case 2
2.87
2.13
Case 2a
4.31
2.64
Case 3
3.43
2.43
Case 4
4.48
2.63
Case 5
5.22
3.17
Case 6

3.80
2.62

Bearing
Pressure at Toe
Bearing
Pressure at Heel
Case 1
156
127
Case 2
386
5
Case 2a
315
76
Case 3
351
39
Case 4
322
83
Case 5
362
81
Case 6

378
43
Free Abutment:

F of S
Overturning
F of S
Sliding
Bearing
Pressure at Toe
Bearing
Pressure at Heel
Case 1
7.15
3.09
168
120
Case 2
2.91
2.14
388
7
Case 2a
4.33
2.64
318
78

Case 3
3.46
2.44
354
42
Case 4
4.50
2.64
325
84
Case 5
5.22
3.16
365
82

F of S
Overturning
F of S
Sliding
Case 1
7.15
3.09
Case 2
2.91
2.14

Case 2a
4.33
2.64
Case 3
3.46
2.44
Case 4
4.50
2.64
Case 5
5.22
3.16

Bearing
Pressure at Toe
Bearing
Pressure at Heel
Case 1
168
120
Case 2
388
7
Case 2a
318
78

Case 3
354
42
Case 4
325
84
Case 5
365
82
It can be seen that the use of elastomeric bearings (Case 2) will govern the critical design
load cases on the abutments. We shall assume that there are no specific requirements for
using elastomeric bearings and design the abutments for the lesser load effects by using
sliding bearings.
2) Wall and Base Design
Loads on the back of the wall are calculated using 'at rest' earth pressures. Serviceability and
Ultimate load effects need to be calculated for the load cases 1 to 6 shown above. Again,
these are best carried out using a simple spreadsheet.
Using the Fixed Abutment Load Case 1 again as an example of the calculations:
Wall Design
Ko = 1 - Sin(') = 1 - Sin(35o) = 0.426
fL for horizontal loads due to surcharge and backfill from BS 5400 Part 2 Clause 5.8.1.2:
Serviceability = 1.0
Ultimate = 1.5
f3 = 1.0 for serviceability and 1.1 for ultimate (from BS 5400 Part 4 Clauses 4.2.2 and 4.2.3)
Backfill Force Fb on the rear of the wall = 0.426 19 6.52 / 2 = 171kN/m
Surcharge Force Fs on the rear of the wall = 0.426 12 6.5 = 33kN/m
At the base of the Wall:
Serviceability moment = (171 6.5 / 3) + (33 6.5 / 2) = 371 + 107 = 478kNm/m
Ultimate moment = 1.1 1.5 478 = 789kNm/m
Ultimate shear = 1.1 1.5 (171 + 33) = 337kN/m
Analysing the fixed abutment with Load Cases 1 to 6 and the free abutment with Load Cases
1 to 5 using a simple spreadsheet the following results were obtained for the design moments
and shear at the base of the wall:
Fixed Abutment:

Moment
SLS Dead
Moment
SLS Live
Moment
ULS
Shear
ULS
Case 1
371
108
790
337
Case 2a
829
258
1771
566
Case 3
829
486
2097
596
Case 4
829
308
1877

602
Case 5
829
154
1622
543
Case 6
829
408
1985
599
Free Abutment:

Moment
SLS Dead
Moment
SLS Live
Moment
ULS
Shear
ULS
Case 1
394
112
835
350
Case 2a

868
265
1846
581
Case 3
868
495
2175
612
Case 4
868
318
1956
619
Case 5
868
159
1694
559

Concrete to BS 8500:2006
Use strength class C32/40 with water-cement ratio 0.5 and minimum cement content of
340kg/m3 for exposure condition XD2.
Nominal cover to reinforcement = 60mm (45mm minimum cover plus a tolerance c of
15mm).
Reinforcement to BS 4449:2005 Grade B500B: fy = 500N/mm2

Design for critical moments and shear in Free Abutment:


Reinforced concrete walls are designed to BS 5400 Part 4 Clause 5.6.
Check classification to clause 5.6.1.1:
Ultimate axial load in wall from deck reactions = 2400 + 600 + 2770 = 5770 kN
0.1fcuAc = 0.1 40 103 11.6 1 = 46400 kN > 5770 design as a slab in accordance with
clause 5.4

Bending
BS 5400 Part 4 Clause 5.4.2 for reisitance moments in slabs design to clause 5.3.2.3:
z = {1 - [ 1.1fyAs) / (fcubd) ]} d
Use B40 @ 150 c/c:
As = 8378mm2/m, d = 1000 - 60 - 20 = 920mm
z = {1 - [ 1.1 500 8378) / (40 1000 920) ]} d = 0.875d < 0.95d OK
Mu = (0.87fy)Asz = 0.87 500 8378 0.875 920 10-6 = 2934kNm/m > 2175kNn/m
OK
Carrying out the crack control calculation to Clause 5.8.8.2 gives a crack width of 0.2mm <
0.25mm.
Also the steel reinforcement and concrete stresses meet the limitations required in clause
4.1.1.3 serviceability requirements are satisfied.
Shear
Shear requirements are designed to BS 5400 clause 5.4.4:
v = V / (bd) = 619 103 / (1000 920) = 0.673 N/mm2
No shear reinforcement is required when v < svc
s = (500/d)1/4 = (500 / 920)1/4 = 0.86
vc = (0.27/m)(100As/bwd)1/3(fcu)1/3 = (0.27 / 1.25) ({100 8378} / {1000 920})1/3 (40)1/3
= 0.72
svc = 0.86 0.72 = 0.62 N/mm2 < 0.673 hence shear reinforcement should be provided,
however check shear at distance H/8 (8.63 / 8 = 1.079m) up the wall.
ULS shear at Section 7H/8 for load case 4 = 487 kN
v = V / (bd) = 487 103 / (1000 920) = 0.53 N/mm2 < 0.62
Hence height requiring strengthening = 1.073 (0.673 - 0.62) / (0.673 - 0.53) = 0.4m < d.

Provide a 500 500 splay at the base of the wall with B32 @ 150c/c bars in sloping face.
Early Thermal Cracking
Considering the effects of casting the wall stem onto the base slab by complying with the
early thermal cracking of concrete to BD 28 then B16 horizontal lacer bars @ 150 c/c will
be required in both faces in the bottom half of the wall.
Minimum area of secondary reinforcement to Clause 5.8.4.2 = 0.12% of bad = 0.0012 1000
920 = 1104 mm2/m (use B16 @ 150c/c - As = 1340mm2/m)
Base Design
Maximum bending and shear effects in the base slab will occur at sections near the front and
back of the wall. Different load factors are used for serviceability and ultimate limit states so
the calculations need to be carried out for each limit state using 'at rest pressures'
Using the Fixed Abutment Load Case 1 again as an example of the calculations:
CASE 1 - Fixed Abutment Serviceability Limit State

fL = 1.0 f3 = 1.0
Weight of wall stem = 1.0 6.5 25 1.0 = 163kN/m
Weight of base = 6.4 1.0 25 1.0 = 160kN/m
Weight of backfill = 4.3 6.5 19 1.0 = 531kN/m
Weight of surcharge = 4.3 12 1.0 = 52kN/m
B/fill Force Fb = 0.426 19 7.52 1.0 / 2 = 228kN/m
Surcharge Force Fs = 0.426 12 7.5 1.0 = 38 kN/m
Restoring Effects:

Weight
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Stem
163

1.6
261
Base
160
3.2
512
Backfill
531
4.25
2257
Surcharge
52
4.25
221
=
906
=
3251
Overturning Effects:

F
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Backfill

288
2.5
570
Surcharge
38
3.75
143
=
266
=
713
Bearing Pressure at toe and heel of base slab = (P / A) (P e / Z)
P = 906kN/m
A = 6.4m2/m
Z = 6.42 / 6 = 6.827m3/m
Nett moment = 3251 - 713 = 2538kNm/m
Eccentricity (e) of P about centre-line of base = 3.2 - (2538 / 906) = 0.399m
Pressure under base = (906 / 6.4) (906 0.399 / 6.827)
Pressure under toe = 142 + 53 = 195kN/m2
Pressure under heel = 142 - 53 = 89kN/m2
Pressure at front face of wall = 89 + {(195 - 89) 5.3 / 6.4} = 177kN/m2
Pressure at rear face of wall = 89 + {(195 - 89) 4.3 / 6.4} = 160kN/m2

SLS Moment at a-a = (177 1.12 / 2) + ([195 - 177] 1.12 / 3) - (25 1.0 1.12 / 2) =
99kNm/m (tension in bottom face).
SLS Moment at b-b = (89 4.32 / 2) + ([160 - 89] 4.32 / 6) - (25 1.0 4.32 / 2) - (531

4.3 / 2) - (52 4.3 / 2) = -443kNm/m (tension in top face).


CASE 1 - Fixed Abutment Ultimate Limit State

fL for concrete = 1.15


fL for fill and surcharge(vetical) = 1.2
fL for fill and surcharge(horizontal) = 1.5
Weight of wall stem = 1.0 6.5 25 1.15 = 187kN/m
Weight of base = 6.4 1.0 25 1.15 = 184kN/m
Weight of backfill = 4.3 6.5 19 1.2 = 637kN/m
Weight of surcharge = 4.3 12 1.2 = 62kN/m
Backfill Force Fb = 0.426 19 7.52 1.5 / 2 = 341kN/m
Surcharge Force Fs = 0.426 12 7.5 1.5 = 58 kN/m
Restoring Effects:

Weight
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Stem
187
1.6
299
Base
184
3.2
589
Backfill

637
4.25
2707
Surcharge
62
4.25
264
=
1070
=
3859
Overturning Effects:

F
Lever Arm
Moment About A
Backfill
341
2.5
853
Surcharge
58
3.75
218

=
399
=
1071
Bearing Pressure at toe and heel of base slab = (P / A) (P x e / Z)
P = 1070kN/m
A = 6.4m2/m
Z = 6.42 / 6 = 6.827m3/m
Nett moment = 3859 - 1071 = 2788kNm/m
Eccentricity (e) of P about centre-line of base = 3.2 - (2788 / 1070) = 0.594m
Pressure under base = (1070 / 6.4) (1070 0.594 / 6.827)
Pressure under toe = 167 + 93 = 260kN/m2
Pressure under heel = 167 - 93 = 74kN/m2
Pressure at front face of wall = 74 + {(260 - 74) 5.3 / 6.4} = 228kN/m2
Pressure at rear face of wall = 74 + {(260 - 74) 4.3 / 6.4} = 199kN/m2

f3 = 1.1
ULS Shear at a-a = 1.1 {[(260 + 228) 1.1 / 2] - (1.15 1.1 25)} = 260kN/m
ULS Shear at b-b = 1.1 {[(199 + 74) 4.3 / 2] - (1.15 4.3 25) - 637 - 62} = 259kN/m
ULS Moment at a-a = 1.1 {(228 1.12 / 2) + ([260 - 228] 1.12 / 3) - (1.15 25 1.0
1.12 / 2)} = 148kNm/m (tension in bottom face).
ULS Moment at b-b = 1.1 {(74 4.32 / 2) + ([199 - 74] 4.32 / 6) - (1.15 25 1.0 4.32 /
2) - (637 4.3 / 2) - (62 4.3 / 2)} = -769kNm/m (tension in top face).
Analysing the fixed abutment with Load Cases 1 to 6 and the free abutment with Load Cases
1 to 5 using a simple spreadsheet the following results were obtained:
Fixed Abutment Base:
Section a-a

ULS Shear
SLS Moment
ULS Moment
Case 1
261
99
147
Case 2a
528
205
302
Case 3
593
235
340
Case 4
550
208
314
Case 5
610
241
348
Case 6

637
255
365
Section b-b

ULS
Shear
SLS
Moment
ULS
Moment
Case 1
259
447
768
Case 2a
458
980
1596
Case 3
553
1178
1834
Case 4
495
1003

1700
Case 5
327
853
1402
Case 6
470
1098
1717

Free Abutment Base:


Section a-a

ULS
Shear
SLS
Moment
ULS
Moment
Case 1
267
101
151
Case 2a
534
207

305
Case 3
598
236
342
Case 4
557
211
317
Case 5
616
243
351
Section b-b

ULS
Shear
SLS
Moment
ULS
Moment
Case 1
266
475
816
Case 2a

466
1029
1678
Case 3
559
1233
1922
Case 4
504
1055
1786
Case 5
335
901
1480
Design for shear and bending effects at sections a-a and b-b for the Free Abutment:
Bending
BS 5400 Part 4 Clause 5.7.3 design as a slab for reisitance moments to clause 5.3.2.3:
z = {1 - [ 1.1fyAs) / (fcubd) ]} d
Use B32 @ 150 c/c:
As = 5362mm2/m, d = 1000 - 60 - 16 = 924mm
z = {1 - [ 1.1 500 5362) / (40 1000 924) ]} d = 0.92d < 0.95d OK
Mu = (0.87fy)Asz = 0.87 500 5362 0.92 924 10-6 = 1983kNm/m > 1922kNm/m
OK
(1983kNm/m also > 1834kNm/m B32 @ 150 c/c suitable for fixed abutment.
For the Serviceability check for Case 3 an approximation of the dead load moment can be
obtained by removing the surcharge and braking loads. The spreadsheet result gives the dead
load SLS moment for Case 3 as 723kNm, thus the live load moment = 1233 - 723 = 510kNm.
Carrying out the crack control calculation to Clause 5.8.8.2 gives a crack width of 0.27mm >
0.25mm Fail.
This could be corrected by reducing the bar spacing, but increase the bar size to B40@150 c/c

as this is required to avoid the use of links (see below).


Using B40@150c/c the crack control calculation gives a crack width of 0.17mm < 0.25mm
OK.
Also the steel reinforcement and concrete stresses meet the limitations required in clause
4.1.1.3 serviceability requirements are satisfied.
Shear
Shear on Toe - Use Fixed Abutment Load Case 6:
By inspection B32@150c/c will be adequate for the bending effects in the toe (Muls =
365kNm < 1983kNm)
Shear requirements are designed to BS 5400 clause 5.7.3.2(a) checking shear at d away from
the front face of the wall to clause 5.4.4.1:

ULS Shear on toe = 1.1 {(620 + 599) 0.5 0.176 - 1.15 1 0.176 25} = 112kN
v = V / (bd) = 112 103 / (1000 924) = 0.121 N/mm2
No shear reinforcement is required when v < svc
Reinforcement in tension = B32 @ 150 c/c
s = (500/d)1/4 = (500 / 924)1/4 = 0.86
vc = (0.27/m)(100As/bwd)1/3(fcu)1/3 = (0.27 / 1.25) ({100 5362} / {1000 924})1/3 (40)1/3
= 0.62
svc = 0.86 0.62 = 0.53 N/mm2 > 0.121N/mm2 OK
Shear on Heel - Use Free Abutment Load Case 3:
Shear requirements are designed at the back face of the wall to clause 5.4.4.1:

Length of heel = (6.5 - 1.1 - 1.0) = 4.4m


ULS Shear on heel = 1.1 {348 0.5 (5.185 - 2.1) - 1.15 1 4.4 25 - 1.2 4.4 (8.63
19 + 10)} = 559kN

Using B32@150 c/c then:


v = V / (bd) = 559 103 / (1000 924) = 0.605 N/mm2
No shear reinforcement is required when v < svc
s = (500/d)1/4 = (500 / 924)1/4 = 0.86
vc = (0.27/m)(100As/bwd)1/3(fcu)1/3 = (0.27 / 1.25) ({100 5362} / {1000 924})1/3 (40)1/3
= 0.62
svc = 0.86 0.62 = 0.53 N/mm2 < 0.605N/mm2 Fail
Rather than provide shear reinforcement try increasing bars to B40 @ 150 c/c (also required
for crack control as shown above).
vc = (0.27/m)(100As/bwd)1/3(fcu)1/3 = (0.27 / 1.25) ({100 8378} / {1000 920})1/3 (40)1/3
= 0.716
svc = 0.86 0.716 = 0.616 N/mm2 > 0.605N/mm2 OK
Early Thermal Cracking
Considering the effects of casting the base slab onto the blinding concrete by complying with
the early thermal cracking of concrete to BD 28 then B16 distribution bars @ 250 c/c will be
required.
Minimum area of main reinforcement to Clause 5.8.4.1 = 0.15% of bad = 0.0015 1000
924 = 1386 mm2/m (use B20 @ 200c/c - As = 1570mm2/m).
Local Effects
Curtain Wall
This wall is designed to be cast onto the top of the abutment after the deck has been built.
Loading will be applied from the backfill, surcharge and braking loads on top of the wall.
HB braking load to BS 5400 clause 6.10 = 25% 45units 4 10kN on 2 axles = 225kN per
axle.
To allow for load distribution effects assume a 45o dispersal to the curtain wall and a 45o
dispersal down the wall, with maximum dispersal of the width of the abutment (11.6m).

This crude analysis will slightly underestimate the peak values in the wall below the load, but
allowance can be made when designing the reinforcement to ensure there is spare capacity.
Then:
1st axle load on back of abutment = 225 / 3.0 = 75kN/m
Dispersed to the base of the curtain wall = 225 / 9.0 = 25 kN/m

2nd axle load on back of abutment = 225 / 6.6 = 34.1kN/m


Dispersed to the base of the curtain wall = 225 / 11.6 = 19.4 kN/m
For load effects at the top of the curtain wall:
Maximum load on back of abutment = 75 + 34.1 = 109.1kN/m
For load effects at the base of the curtain wall:
Maximum load on back of abutment = 25 + 19.4 = 44.4kN/m
Bending and Shear at Base of 3m High Curtain Wall

Horizontal load due to HB surcharge = 0.426 20 3.0 = 25.6 kN/m


Horizontal load due to backfill = 0.426 19 3.02 / 2 = 36.4 kN/m
SLS Moment = (44.4 3.0) + (25.6 1.5) + (36.4 1.0) = 208 kNm/m (36 dead + 172 live)
ULS Moment = 1.1 {(1.1 44.4 3.0) + (1.5 25.6 1.5) + (1.5 36.4 1.0)} = 285
kNm/m
ULS Shear = 1.1 {(1.1 44.4) + (1.5 25.6) + (1.5 36.4)} = 156kN/m
400 thick curtain wall with B32 @ 150 c/c :
Mult = 584 kNm/m > 285 kNm/m OK
SLS Moment produces crack width of 0.14mm < 0.25 OK
svc = 0.97 N/mm2 > v = 0.48 N/mm2 Shear OK

Computer-aided limit states analysis of bridge abutments


M. Dicleli
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering and Construction
Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois 61625, USA
Email: mdicleli@usa.net

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a computer program developed for limit states analysis of abutments. The program can
perform both structural and geotechnical analysis of bridge abutments and check their resistances in
compliance with limit states design criteria. In the program, the earth pressure coefficient for the backfill soil is
calculated as a function of abutments lateral non-linear displacement. Therefore, for abutments partially
restrained against lateral movement, an earth pressure coefficient less than that of at-rest conditions may be
obtained. This may result in a more economical design.

KEYWORDS
Bridge; abutment; foundation; limit-state-design; soil-structure-interaction; optimization

1. Introduction
Limit states are conditions under which a structure can no longer perform its intended
functions. The limit states design (LSD) process considers two conditions to satisfy; the
ultimate and the serviceability limit states. The ultimate limit states (ULS) are related to the
safety of the structure and they define the limits for its total or partial collapse. The
serviceability limit states (SLS) represent those conditions, which adversely affect the
expected performance of the structure under service loads.

LSD has received particular attention in the geotechnical and structural engineering literature
over the last three decades. Many researchers and practicing engineers have documented their
findings on this subject [1-18]. Guidance with the application of limit state design procedures
is available through a number of design codes [1922]. However, the application of LSD to
substructures is more recent. In the past, substructure design was based on allowable stress
or working stress design (WSD), while the superstructure design was based on LSD. The use
of LSD philosophy for superstructures and WSD philosophy for substructures led to
confusions. The confusion potentially exists with respect to loading at soil-structure interface
for the evaluation of ultimate limit states (ULS). The structural engineer employing the LSD
approach for the design of substructures thinks in terms of factored loads to be supported by
the bearing soil. The geotechnical engineer using WSD approach in soil bearing capacity
assessment thinks in terms of nominal loads and allowable soil pressures. Therefore, the
geotechnical report provides the structural engineer with the values of allowable soil
pressure. The structural engineer then interprets the meaning of the recommended soil
pressure and factors it in an effort to compare it with the responses due to factored structural
loads. Nevertheless, the recommended soil bearing pressure may be controlled by settlement
considerations or SLS rather than bearing failure considerations or ULS. Obviously, a sense
for the actual level of safety has been lost through the incompatible design process. The
foundation may be over-designed resulting in loss of economy rather than the improved
economy that LSD is supposed to provide. Therefore, it became evident that a limit state
approach was required for geotechnical design.
The LSD process for the design of bridge abutments is more tedious than WSD process. It
requires two different analyses to satisfy the structure performance for both SLS and ULS.
The ULS itself requires more than one analysis to satisfy the geotechnical and the structural
limit states. Generally, designers try to obtain the optimal structure dimensions to satisfy the
limit states criteria by following a trial-and-error analysis and design procedure.
Nevertheless, a manually performed trial-and-error analysis and design iteration to obtain the
optimal structure dimensions and reinforcement under different loading conditions and given
limit states criteria could be inaccurate, tedious and time consuming. Considering these, a
computer program, ABA, for the analysis and design of bridge abutments has been
developed.
In the subsequent sections, first, the general features of the program, ABA are described. This
is followed by a brief description of the general program structure. Next, the procedure used
in the program for calculating backfill pressure coefficient is defined. Then, the LSD
procedure implemented in the program for bridge abutment design is introduced. This
included the procedure for checking the stability of the structure for sliding and overturning
and the calculation of base pressure, pile axial forces, structural responses and resistances.
Following this, simple design-aid charts for retaining walls are introduced.

2. General features of the program


ABA is capable of analyzing bridge abutments and retaining walls and checking their
structural and geotechnical resistance using LSD criteria. Retaining walls are programmed as
a sub-element of abutments and therefore the word abutment will mean both retaining wall
and abutment thereafter.
2.1 Abutment Geometry

ABA analyses the general type of reinforced concrete abutment shown in Figures 1(a) and
(b). The generic shape of the abutments wing-wall is defined in Fig. 1(c). In the program,
the geometry of the abutment can be modified by assigning constraints to its dimensions.
The ballast-wall and the breast-wall parts of the abutment obtained by assigning various
constraints to their dimensions are illustrated in Figures 2(a) and (b).
The geometry and local coordinate axes of the abutment footing are shown in Fig. 3. For
abutments with deep foundations, piles are defined in rows extending along X2 footing local
coordinate axes as shown in Figures 4(a) and (b). The number of piles in a row and the
location of each row from the centroid of the footing are input by the user. Each row may
have piles with identical batters perpendicular to row direction. If a row contains piles with
different batters, then it may be defined as a combination of two or more rows of piles located
at the same distance from the centroid of the footing. The piles at both ends of each row may
also have batters parallel to row direction. The piles are assumed to have constant spacing
within a row and located symmetrically with respect to the X1 footing local coordinate axis.
2.2 Loads
The types of loads allowed by the program to act on the abutments are; concentrated loads at
the bearings, surcharge pressure, backfill soil pressure, soil compaction load, self weight of
the abutment, backfill soil and barrier walls on wing-walls. The concentrated loads may
belong to one of permanent, transitory or exceptional load groups shown in Table 1.
Surcharge pressure is assumed to act over the entire surface area of the backfill soil at the
abutment top level. It may belong to either permanent or transitory load group. The backfill
soil pressure is either calculated internally by the program as a function of structure lateral
displacement or it can be defined externally by the user. The user defines compaction load at
the surface of the backfill soil. The program then internally defines the linearly varying lateral
earth pressure due to this compaction load. The program also internally calculates the selfweight of the abutment, backfill soil, and barrier-walls-on-wing-walls.

Fig. 1 - Abutment geometry

Fig. 2 - Geometric configurations of ballast and breast walls

Fig. 3 - Footing geometry

Fig. 4 - Pile geometry for deep foundations

3. General program structure


ABA consists of a control program that manages the database, an analysis and design engine
and a graphical user interface (GUI) for user data input. Fig. 5 illustrates the program
structure. The analysis and design engine consists of three modules; abutment analysis
module, footing analysis module and resistance module. The abutment analysis module
performs the analysis of the abutments excluding the footing part. The footing analysis
module then performs the analysis for the footing part of the abutment or it can be operated
independently. The resistance module then calculates the structural resistance of any specified
cross-section on the structure. As shown in Fig. 5, the control program first allows the user to
define the properties of the abutment and its footing using the GUI. The user-defined data is
then stored in a structured database, which contains material, geometry, loading data and
control flags. The program then uses this database for the analysis and design of the
abutment. The control program operates the necessary sub-module depending on the analysis
type. If footing is analyzed as part of abutment, then the control program first initiates the
abutment analysis module. Next, it stores the footing load data, obtained from the abutment
analysis module, in the database. Then, it calls the footing analysis module to complete the
analysis. Finally, it calls the resistance module to perform structural resistance calculations.

4. Calculation of earth pressures

In the program, separate earth pressure conditions are considered behind the abutment for
geotechnical and structural LSD. For the geotechnical LSD, active earth pressure condition
is considered behind the abutment as the structure is assumed to rotate at its base or displace
away from the backfill at the verge of geotechnical limit state conditions such as overturning
or sliding of the structure. Such movements will mobilize the soil to an active state of
equilibrium. For structural LSD, the structure is assumed to have no such movements.
Accordingly, an earth pressure ranging between active and at-rest conditions is considered for
the structural design of the abutment.

Fig. 5 - Program structure


The actual earth pressure coefficient, K, may change between active, Ka and at-rest, Ko, earth
pressure coefficients depending on the amount of lateral deformation of the abutment due to
the permanently applied loads. Past researchers obtained the variation of earth pressure
coefficient as a function of structure top displacement from experimental data and finite
element analyses [17, 23]. For practical purposes, this variation is assumed as linear as
shown in Fig. 6. This linear relationship is expressed as:
(1)
Where, d is the top displacement of the earth retaining structure away from the backfill soil
and , is the slope of the earth pressure variation depicted in Fig. 6. The calculated top
displacement of the abutment and the active and at-rest earth pressure coefficients are
substituted into the above equation to obtain the actual earth pressure coefficient for the

structural design. A similar approach was followed elsewhere [24, 25] to estimate the passive
earth pressure coefficient for the backfill soil for the design of integral-abutment bridges. In
the program, Coulomb theory [26] is used to calculate the active and at-rest lateral earth
pressure coefficients assuming zero friction between the wall surface and the backfill. The
effect of backfill slope on the active earth pressure coefficient is also considered in the
program.
Structure Model
The structure models shown in Fig. 7 are used in the program for the calculation of abutment
top displacement. Only the effects of unfactored dead loads and backfill pressure are
considered in the calculations. The eccentricities due to the dead load reactions on the
bearings are also taken into consideration by applying a concentrated moment at the point of
application of the dead loads on the structure model. The abutment is modeled as a cantilever
having a unit width and a variable cross-section along its height. The cantilever element is
then connected to the footing member. The footing is modeled as a vertical rigid bar with a
rotational spring connected to its end. The length of this rigid bar is set equal to the footing
depth, hf. The rotational spring at the end of the rigid bar simulates the effect of footing
rotation on the magnitude of abutment top displacement. The loads acting on the abutment
are proportioned to the unit width of the abutment.

Fig. 6 - Variation of earth pressure coefficient as a function of abutment displacement

Fig. 7 - Structure model for the calculation of abutment displacement


The bridge deck may restrain the lateral displacement of the abutment. The degree of this
restraint is based on the type of bearings used. For frictional bearings, the restraining force is
equal to the total dead load reaction force on the bearing, multiplied by the coefficient of
friction for the type of bearing used. In the program, first a fictitious rigid lateral support is
introduced in the structure model at the bearing location. Next, the lateral reaction force due
to the applied loads is calculated at this support. If the restraining force provided by the
bearings is smaller than this reaction force, it is applied at the bearings' location in the model
as shown in Fig. 7. Otherwise, the movement is assumed to be totally restrained and the earth
pressure coefficient is set equal to Ko. For elastomeric bearings, the restraining force is
proportional to the lateral displacement of the abutment at bearing's location and the stiffness
of the bearing. A spring with stiffness identical to that of the elastomeric bearings is placed at
the bearing location as shown in Fig. 7 to simulate the restraining effect of the bearings. The
stiffness of this spring per unit width of abutment is expressed in the program as:

(2)
Where, nb is the number of bearings, Gb is the shear modulus of the bearing material, Ab is the
plan area of the bearing, hb is the bearing height and wa is the total width of the abutment.
For bearings providing lateral fixity at the abutments, the movement is assumed to be
restrained and the earth pressure coefficient is set equal to Ko. In the case of cantilever
retaining walls, no restraint is considered in the displacement calculation.

The stiffness of the rotational spring in the model is determined by the rotational stiffness of
the footing. For shallow foundations, the rotational stiffness, Kf, of the footing is expressed
as [27]:

(3)
Where, B1 and B2 are the plan dimensions of the footing respectively parallel and
perpendicular to the bridge longitudinal directions and ks is the coefficient of sub-grade
reaction for the bearing soil input by the user. In the case of pile foundations, the rotational
stiffness of the foundation is calculated in the program as [27]:

(4)
Where, nr is the number of pile rows, Ep is the modulus of elasticity of pile material, Ap and
Lp are respectively, the cross-sectional area and length of a single pile and di is the distance of
pile row i, from the geometric centerline of the footing.
A closed form solution for the reaction forces at the translational and rotational springs in the
model is obtained for each type of load applied on the structure and implemented in the
program.
Calculation of Top Displacement
The displacement, *T, at the top of the abutment is calculated in the program using the
following equation.

(5)
Where, Mb is the total moment at the footing base, M and m are moments, respectively, due to
the externally applied loads and a horizontal unit dummy load applied at the top of the
abutment, Ec is the modulus of elasticity of abutment concrete and Ia and ha are respectively
the moment of inertia and height of the abutment. The first set of terms in the above equation
represents the contribution of footing rotation to the top displacement. The integration
represents the contribution of the abutments flexural deformation to the top displacement and
is obtained using the unit dummy load method [28]. Note that the expression, M/EcIa, in the
integral is the curvature of the abutment due to the applied loads. The integration is
performed numerically using the trapezoidal rule of numerical integration method [29]. The
structure model is first divided into 100 segments and the resulting segment length is used as
an integration step. The moment, M, due to externally applied loads is then calculated at each
point of integration. Next, the inelastic curvature ( =M/EcIa) corresponding to the applied
moment and axial force is calculated using nonlinear material models for concrete and steel
to obtain an accurate estimate of structure displacement. The procedure followed to calculate
the curvature is defined in the subsequent sections. The moment, m, due to the unit dummy
load is also calculated at the integration points and multiplied by the calculated curvature and

an integration factor which is a function of the type of numerical integration method used.
For this particular case, the integration factor is 0.5 for the first and last points of integration
and 1.0 for the rest. Finally, the top displacement due to the flexural deformation of the
abutment is obtained by summing up the results obtained for each integration point and
multiplying the sum by the integration step.
Material Models
In the calculation of non-linear curvatures, the following constitutive relationship is used for
concrete stress, fc, in compression, as a function of concrete strain c [30]:

(6)

(7)
Where, f''co is the specified strength of abutment concrete, 01, and 085 are the strains at
peak and 85% of the peak strength.
For concrete stress in tension, the following linear constitutive relationship is used:
(8)
(9)
Where, Ec is the modulus of elasticity of concrete and is expressed as:
(10)
cr is the strain at cracking and is expressed by the following equation;

(11)
For the stress, fs, in reinforcing steel, the following elasto-plastic stress-strain relationship is
assumed.
(12)
(13)

The strain hardening part of the stress-strain relationship for steel is not considered in the
above equations, since under service loads the stress in steel will not reach the strain
hardening region.
Calculation of Moment Curvature Relationship
In the program, to calculate the curvature corresponding to an applied moment, M, and an
axial force, P, at a cross-section along the abutment, first, an extreme fiber compressive
strain, cu, is assumed for concrete as shown in Fig. 8. The slope of the strain diagram is
established for an assumed location, c, of neutral axis measured from the top of the section.
Corresponding compressive and tensile stresses in concrete and steel are determined from
material models described above. Internal forces in concrete, as well as reinforcing steel are
calculated. The section is divided into rectangular strips for the purpose of calculating
compressive forces in concrete as shown in Fig. 8. First, the concrete stress at the middle of
each strip is calculated and multiplied by the area of the strip. Then, the results are summed
up to obtain the total force due to compressive concrete stresses. To calculate the tensile
forces in concrete, first, the depth of the uncracked concrete tension zone, ccr, is determined
by dividing the strain of concrete at cracking by the slope of the strain diagram. The volume
of the concrete tensile stress diagram over the area of the uncracked tensile zone is then
calculated to obtain the total force due to tensile concrete stresses. Once the internal forces
are computed, the equilibrium is checked by comparing them with the externally applied
axial forces. If the equilibrium is satisfied within a prescribed range of accuracy, the
assumption for neutral axis location is verified. Otherwise, the neutral axis location is revised
and the same process is repeated until the equilibrium is satisfied. Next, the internal moment
is calculated and compared with the moment due to the applied loads. If the difference is
smaller then an assumed tolerance value, the analysis is stopped, otherwise, the program
continues the analysis with the next selected extreme compression fiber strain. At the end of
the analysis the extreme fiber compression strain is divided by the distance to neutral axis to
calculate the inelastic curvature, .

Fig. 8 - Internal strains and stresses at abutment cross-section

5. Implemented LSD analysis procedure


In the program, the following SLS and ULS conditions are considered for geotechnical and
structural design of the abutment..

Geotechnical:

SLS soil resistance for shallow foundations or SLS pile axial resistance for deep
foundations,

ULS soil resistance for shallow foundations or ULS pile axial resistance for deep
foundations,

Structure stability for sliding and overturning at ULS

Structural:

Crack width limitations for concrete at SLS

Shear and flexural strength of the abutment at ULS

The ULS conditions are checked using separate factors of safety on loads and structure
resistance. The ULS load combinations and maximum and minimum values of load factors
are shown respectively in Tables 1 and 2 [22]. Table 3 tabulates the resistance factors for
various geotechnical ULS conditions [22] used in the program. The SLS conditions for
abutments are checked using unfactored loads and structure resistance. The load combination
used in the program for SLS is also illustrated in Table 1.
The three-dimensional effects of applied loads and structure weight, including the weight of
the wing-walls, are considered in the program for the geotechnical and structural design of
the abutment foundation. For sloping backfill soil conditions, the effect of vertical component
of earth pressure is also considered in the foundation's design. The total weight of the backfill
soil, including the sloping part, is averaged as a uniformly distributed load and applied on the
footing's top surface. The procedure used in the program for the structural and geotechnical
analysis of the structure components is described in the following sub-sections.
Optimization of Load Effects
In the program, each load is input separately with an identification number (ID) and a type ID
as shown in Table 2. The load effects are factored and combined according to their type ID
using the load combinations in Table 1. Each load may have more than one case of
application, or load-case. For example, to define the possible detrimental effects of live load
on an abutment footing, more than one load case may be considered to maximize the effects
of sliding, overturning and base pressure. Obviously, these cases can not be combined
simultaneously as they belong to the same live load applied at various locations on the bridge.
Nevertheless, the one, which results in the most detrimental effect, is output as an envelope
response.
For the analysis of the abutment, a maximum and a minimum factored horizontal load is
combined with a maximum or a minimum factored vertical load. The combinations that
result in the most detrimental load effect are used for geotechnical and structural resistance
checks. The correlation between the minimum and maximum load factors shown in Table 2
for permanent loads is considered when combining the loads to optimize their detrimental
effect on the structure. For example, the maximum load factor for lateral earth pressure

loading is used with the minimum load factor for the structure weight to maximize the effect
of overturning. However, in another case, the maximum load factor for structure weight is
considered when maximizing the effect of axial load on piles for deep foundations. Some
transient loads are also removed if their effect is counteracting the detrimental effect of other
applied loads. For example, the live load on the structure is removed if its effect is
favourable to the strength or stability of the structure. It is noteworthy that all possible load
combinations are considered regardless of their resulting effects on the structure. However, at
the end, the envelope responses due to such load combinations are used to check if the
structure has adequate resistance to endure the applied loads.
Base Pressure Calculations for Shallow Foundations
The forces applied on a foundation produces horizontal and vertical stresses in the ground.
The aim of shallow foundation design is to ensure that those stresses do not exceed the
ultimate resistance of the foundation soil and do not cause deformations that will affect the
serviceability of the structure. Accordingly, for abutments with shallow foundations, two sets
of soil pressure limits are used in the program to check the geotechnical capacity of the
bearing soil. One of them is expected to satisfy the resistance aspect at ULS and the other
one is expected to satisfy the criteria associated with the tolerance of either the soil or the
structure to deformation at the SLS [22]. The program analyzes the abutment foundation for
both ULS and SLS conditions. The condition, which yields the lower of the values for
factored geotechnical resistance at ULS or geotechnical reaction at SLS, then governs the
geotechnical design of the foundation.
For the ULS design of abutment footings, a contact pressure of uniform distribution is
assumed such that the centroid of the vertical component of the applied load coincides with
the vertical component of the bearing pressure as shown in Fig. 9. Accordingly, the
dimensions, b1 and b2 of the uniform pressure block, are expressed in the program as follows:
(14)
(15)
Where, B1 and B2 are the plan dimensions of the footing and e1 and e2 are the eccentricities of
the applied load parallel to B1 and B2 faces of the footing. It is noteworthy that the effect of
lateral forces acting on the footing surface is carried to the base of the foundation when
calculating the eccentricities [31]. The ULS base pressure, qf , due to a factored eccentric
resultant vertical load, PRf, on the footing, is then calculated as follows:

(16)
Where, qf represents a minimum resistance expected from the soil and it is compared with the
ultimate bearing resistance, qu, of the foundation soil. In the program, the effect of horizontal
load on the ultimate bearing resistance of the foundation soil is taken into consideration using
a reduction factor, R, expressed as follows:

(17)
Where, D, is the depth of the soil in front of the abutment measured to the base of the footing,
b is the effective width of the ULS pressure block in the direction of interest and x is the ratio
of the factored horizontal load to vertical load. The above expression is based on Meyerhof's
[32,33] bearing resistance equations for an angle of internal friction of 30o. The user-input
ultimate bearing resistance is adjusted by dividing it by the reduction factor calculated using
the above expression. In the program, linear interpolation is used to obtain the reduction
factors for values of D/b other then those defined in the above equation.

Fig. 9 - Base pressure at ULS


Equation 17 indicates that the ultimate bearing resistance of the foundation soil is a function
of the applied loads. Accordingly, in the program, the load combination, which causes the
most detrimental effect, is obtained by optimizing the ratio of ultimate base pressure to
ultimate bearing resistance.
For the SLS design of abutment footing, the foundation soil is assumed to respond elastically.
Consequently, a linear elastic distribution of contact pressure is used in the analysis. The
abutment footing is assumed to be infinitely rigid for analysis purposes. In the program, the
SLS pressure, q, at the footing corners is first calculated using the following equation and
assuming that all corners are in compression.

(18)
Where A is the plan area of the footing, MRf1 and MRf2 are the resultant moments, respectively
about X1 and X2 footing local axes, due to the applied loads and S1 and S2 are section
modulus of the footing about X1 and X2 footing local axes. If the above expression results in
a tensile pressure at one or more corners of the footing, then, the expressions derived by
Wilson [34] are used in the analysis. Wilson [34] presented three sets of equations to calculate
the actual pressure distribution for the cases where one, two and three corners of the footing
are in tension. In the program, for each load combination, the maximum of the calculated
SLS base pressure at four corners of the footing is stored in an array. The load combination,
which causes the most detrimental effect, is then obtained by optimizing the ratio of the
maximum SLS base pressure to user-input SLS bearing resistance.
Resistance of Shallow Foundations to Horizontal Loads
For the ULS design of abutment footings resting on soil, the sliding failure at the interface
between the footing and the soil is considered in the program. The resistance of the footing to
sliding is generated by the passive earth pressure in front of the abutment as well as cohesion
and friction at the footing-soil interface. The contribution of the passive earth pressure in
front of the abutment is generally neglected in the calculation of sliding resistance since there
is always a possibility that the soil could somehow be disturbed. Accordingly, the following
equation is used in the program to calculate the resistance, Hr, of the footing to sliding.
(19)
Where, Ae is the effective area of contact pressure, Car is the factored apparent cohesion and
is the angle of friction. In the program, the load combination, which causes the most
detrimental effect, is obtained by optimizing the ratio of factored horizontal load to factored
sliding resistance of the foundation.
Stability of Shallow Foundations
In the program, at the ULS, the eccentricity of the vertical load is restricted to 30% of the
footing dimension in the direction of the eccentricity [22]. This is done to limit the local
bearing stresses in the soil to avoid the possibility of a bearing failure towards the rear of the
footing or overturning. The eccentricity of the factored vertical load is first calculated for
each load combination. The ratio of this eccentricity to the calculated eccentricity limit is
optimized in the program to determine the load combination, which causes the most
detrimental effect.
Calculation of Pile Forces for Deep Foundations
For abutment footings resting on piles, assuming that the pile-cap is infinitely rigid, the axial
force, Ni, in pile, i, is calculated using the following equation:

(20)
Where np is the number of piles, x1i and x2i are the distances of pile i from the local footing
axes origin respectively in X1 and X2 directions. The moments of inertia of pile group, Ip1
and Ip2 respectively about X1 and X2 footing local axes are expressed as:

(21)

(22)
The axial force, Nbi, on a battered pile i, is then obtained using the following equation:

(23)
Where, bp is the pile batter. In the program, the load combination, which causes the most
detrimental effect, is obtained by optimizing the ratio of calculated pile axial load to the
geotechnical axial capacity of the pile.
Resistance of Deep Foundations to Horizontal Loads
The horizontal forces acting on the footing are resisted by the pile batters and the reaction
forces produced upon horizontal movement of the foundation. The passive earth pressure in
front of the piles as well as the shear forces resulting from pile displacement produces this
latter resistance. Due to the complex nature of soil-pile interaction, which is a function of
various parameters such as number of pile rows, pile spacing etc. [35], this horizontal
resistance is not calculated by the program and is provided by the user. However, the
horizontal resistance due to the pile batters is calculated in the program as the sum of the
horizontal components of calculated axial forces on battered piles. The total horizontal
resistance is then obtained in the program by summing up the calculated horizontal resistance
due to pile batters and the user-input horizontal resistance of the pile group.
Structural Analysis of Footing
For the structural analysis of the footing, two different ULS soil pressure distributions are
considered in the program. The first case considers a contact pressure distribution due to
yielding soil, which approximates a uniform pressure distribution over an effective area, as
explained previously. This pressure distribution is primarily used to check the bearing
resistance of the soil. However, the abutment footing is also structurally designed to sustain
such a pressure. The second case assumes a nearly rigid footing and a linear contact pressure
distribution due to an elastic non-yielding soil where the probable resistance of soil may
exceed the ultimate resistance used in geotechnical design. The program then calculates the
flexural and shear forces in the footing for each contact pressure distribution. Larger of the

structural responses obtained from both cases will then govern the structural design at ULS.
For the SLS condition, only a linear contact pressure distribution is assumed. In the case of
deep foundations, flexural and shear forces in the footing are calculated using the previously
calculated SLS and ULS pile axial forces.
Normally, the program calculates flexural forces at both faces of the abutment wall and shear
forces at a distance 0.9 times the footing thickness from both faces of the abutment wall.
Additional sections can be specified by the user around pile locations in the case of deep
foundations. The calculated flexural and shear forces are then divided by the width of the
footing to obtain the effect of such forces per unit width. The structural resistance
calculations are then performed at the same response locations by the program's resistance
module.
Structural Analysis of Abutment Wall
In the program, the abutment wall is modeled as a cantilever having a unit width in the
transverse direction and a variable thickness in the longitudinal direction of the bridge. The
point of fixity of the cantilever model is assumed at the footing's top surface. The loads
acting on the structure are proportioned to the abutment's unit width and applied on the
model. In the program, the ballast wall and the breast wall are divided respectively into 5 and
10 prescribed locations spaced equally along the abutment height. The responses due to each
applied load are first calculated at these prescribed locations starting from the top and then
combined using Table 1. The structural resistance calculations for the abutment are also
performed by the program's resistance module at the same prescribed locations considering
the combined effects of axial, shear and flexural forces.
Structural Resistance Calculations
The optimum flexural resistance of a reinforced concrete section is a function of the applied
axial force and the extreme fiber compression strain [36, 37]. To calculate the flexural
resistance of a cross section along the structure for a prescribed axial force, the extreme fiber
compression strain,cu, for concrete is varied between 0.0020 and 0.0035 using an incremental
step of 0.0001. For each incremental strain value, the slope of the strain diagram is
established for an assumed location, c, of neutral axis measured from the top of the section as
shown in Figure 8. Corresponding compressive and tensile stresses in concrete and steel are
determined from material models described previously. Internal forces in concrete, as well as
reinforcing steel are calculated. The equilibrium is checked by comparing the resultant
internal force with the externally applied axial force. If the equilibrium is satisfied within a
prescribed range of accuracy, the assumption for neutral axis location is verified. Otherwise,
the neutral axis location is revised and the same process is repeated until the equilibrium is
satisfied. Next, the internal moment is calculated and stored in an array. The program then
continues the analysis with the next selected extreme compression fiber strain until it reaches
the maximum value of 0.0035. At the end of the analyses, the maximum of the stored
moments is selected as the flexural resistance of the section.
The compression field theory [22,38] is implemented in the program to calculate shear
resistance of a cross section on the structure. The shear resistance, Vr, of a reinforced
concrete section without transverse reinforcement is defined as [22]:

(24)
where, is a dimensionless parameter, c is the resistance factor for concrete, bv and dv are
respectively the effective section width and depth used in shear resistance calculations. To
calculate , the angle of inclination, , of principle compressive strain or shear cracks is
varied between 27o and 79o using an incremental step of 1o in the program. For each
incremental value of , the reinforcement tensile strain, x, is calculated using the
following equation:

(25)
Where, Pf, Vf and Mf are respectively the factored axial load, shear and moment acting on the
cross section and Es and As are respectively the modulus of elasticity and area of reinforcing
steel. Then, the principal tensile strain, 1, and are calculated as:

(26)
Where, d is the distance of tensile reinforcement from the extreme compression fibre. The
value of is stored in an array and the procedure is repeated for the next incremental value
of until it reaches the maximum value of 79o. At the end of the analysis, the maximum of
the stored values is used in Equation 24 to calculate the shear resistance of the section.

6. Design-aid for cantiliver retaining walls


The program, ABA, is used to obtain the design-aid Tables 4-9 for cantilever retaining walls.
The tables are used in conjunction with Figures 10 and 11. The design-aid tables are
generated for a granular backfill material with a unit weight of 22 kN/m3 and an angle of
internal friction of 30o. This backfill material is commonly used in transportation structures
[22]. The unfactored SLS and ULS bearing resistances of respectively 250 kPa and 750 kPa
are used for the foundation soil as conventional design values. The effective angle of friction
for the foundation soil is assumed as 30o. The compressive strength of concrete is 30 MPa
and the yield strength of steel is 400 MPa. Hydrostatic pressure is not included in the
analysis assuming that the water will be properly drained throughout the granular backfill
material.
In Fig. 10, q1 and q2 are the maximum bearing pressures assuming respectively a linear
pressure distribution at SLS and a uniform pressure distribution at ULS. V and P are
respectively the total ULS vertical and horizontal forces obtained for the most critical load
combination for sliding. In Figure 11, each set of bars is indicated by a letter. The number of
T bars are for each face of footing or wall. The maximum spacing of T bars is 300 mm and
the lap is 600 mm. The dimensions in the figure are in mm.

Fig. 10 - Retaining wall dimension parameters


Tables 4 and 5 provide design-aid for cantilever retaining walls with zero surcharge pressure
and level backfill slope. Table 4 provides dimensions of the wall as a function of its height for
1200 mm and 2200 mm toe soil cover to frost depth. Table 5 provides the length, size and
spacing of reinforcement as well as steel and concrete quantities as a function of wall height.
Tables 6 and 7 provide similar design-aid for cantilever retaining walls with a live load
surcharge pressure of 13.2 kPa, a commonly used design parameter in North America. Tables
8 and 9 provide design-aid for cantilever retaining walls with a backfill slope of 2 horizontal
to 1 vertical.

Fig. 11 - Retaining wall reinforcement parameters

7. Conclusions
A computer program, developed for the limit states analysis of bridge abutments, is presented
in this paper. Although several other computer programs exist for the analysis of bridge
abutments, they are limited to cases where working stress design approach is used for the
geotechnical analysis of the structure. Different from these conventional programs, the
developed program is able to perform both structural and geotechnical analysis of bridge
abutments and check their resistance to calculated responses using limit states design criteria.
In the program, the earth pressure coefficient for the backfill soil is calculated as a function of
abutments lateral displacement taking into consideration the non-linear force-deformation
relationship of the structure. Therefore, for abutments partially restrained against lateral
movement, an earth pressure coefficient less than that of at-rest conditions may be obtained.
This may result in a more economical design. Design-aid charts for cantilever retaining walls
are also generated using this program.

REFERENCES
1. Meyerhof, G.G. Safety factors in soil mechanics. Canadian Geotechnical Journal
1970; 7: 349-355.
2. Meyerhof, G.G. Limit states design in geotechnical engineering. Structural Safety
1982; 1: 67-71.
3. Meyerhof, G.G. Safety Factors and limit states analysis in geotechnical engineering.
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Appendix
Table 1 -Load factors and load combinations
Limit

Permanent Loads

Transitory Loads

Exceptional Loads

State
D

EQ

SLS-1

1.00

1.00

1.00

0.90

0.80

0.00

0.00

1.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-1

1.70

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-2

1.60

1.15

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-3

1.40

1.00

0.50

0.50

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-4

0.00

1.25

1.65

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-5

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

ULS-6

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.30

0.00

0.00

ULS-7

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.30

0.00

ULS-8

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.00

A
D
E
F
H
K
L
P
EQ
S
V
W

: Ice accretion load


: Dead load
: Loads due to earth, surcharge or hydrostatic pressure
: Loads due to stream pressure and ice forces or debris torrents
: Collusion load
: Strains and deformations due to temperature variation, creep and shrinkage
: Live load
: Secondary prestress load
: Earthquake load
: Load due to foundation deformation
: Wind load on traffic
: Wind load on structure

D
E
P

: Load factor for load type D


: Load factor for load type E
: Load factor for load type P

Notes
Bar Area (mm2)
10M 100
15M 200
20M 300
25M 500
30M 700
35M 1000

Diameter (mm)
11.3
16.0
19.5
25.2
29.9
35.7

The yield strength of steel is 400 MPa.


Table 2 - Load types and load factors
Type ID

Definition

LS

Load Factor

Group

Max.

Min.

D1

Factory produced components excluding wood

All

1.10

0.95

D2

Cast-in-place concrete, wood, non-structural comp.

All

1.20

0.90

D3

Wearing surfaces based on nominal thickness

All

1.50

0.65

D4

Earth fill, negative skin friction on piles

All

1.25

0.80

D5

Water

All

1.10

0.90

E1

Passive earth pressure

All

1.25

0.50

E2

At-rest earth pressure

All

1.25

0.80

E3

Active earth pressure

All

1.25

0.80

E4

Backfill pressure

All

1.25

0.80

E5

Hydrostatic Pressure

All

1.10

0.90

Secondary prestress effect

All

1.05

0.95

Live load

SLS 1

0.90

0.00

ULS 1

1.70

0.00

ULS 2

1.60

0.00

ULS 3

1.40

0.00

Loads due to temp. variation, creep and shrinkage

Wind load on structure

SLS 1

0.80

0.00

ULS 2

1.15

0.00

ULS 3

1.00

0.00

ULS 4

1.25

0.00

ULS 3

0.50

0.00

ULS 4

1.65

0.00

Wind load on traffic

ULS 3

0.50

0.00

Load due to foundation deformation

SLS 1

1.00

0.00

EQ

Earthquake load

ULS 5

1.00

0.00

Loads due to stream pressure and ice forces or debris torrents

ULS 6

1.30

0.00

Ice accretion load

ULS 7

1.30

0.00

Collusion load

ULS 8

1.00

0.00

Table 3 - Geotechnical resistance factors


Foundation Type

Geotechnical Resistance

Factor

Shallow Foundations

Bearing resistance

0.5

Passive resistance

0.5

Sliding resistance

0.8

Deep Foundations

Static analysis,

compression

0.4

tension

0.3

compression

0.6

tension

0.4

Dynamic analysis

compression

0.4

Dynamic test

compression

0.5

Static test

Horizontal passive resistance

Table 4 - Geotechnical design aid for cantilever retaining walls (surcharge=0, backfill
slope=0)

0.5

Table 5 - Structural design aid for cantilever retaining walls (surcharge=0, backfill
slope=0)

Table 6 - Geotechnical design aid for cantilever retaining walls (surcharge=13.2 kPa)

Table 7 - Structural design aid for cantilever retaining walls (surcharge=13.2 kPa)

Table 8 - Geotechnical design aid for cantilever retaining walls (backfill slope=2:1)

Table 9 - Structural design aid for cantilever retaining walls (backfill slope=2:1)