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IABSE-JSCE Joint Conference on Advances in Bridge Engineering-II, August 8-10, 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Amin, Okui, Bhuiyan (eds.)

ISBN: 978-984-33-1893-0

Recent trend on design and construction of steel and composite bridges

in Japan

Nagaoka University of Technology, Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan

E. Yamaguchi

Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

T. Yoda

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

K. Nogami

Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

ABSTRACT: This paper first introduces design codes for steel and steel-concrete composite bridges in Japan.
Almost all roadway and railway bridges in Japan have been designed according to Specifications for Highway
Bridges and according to Standard Specifications for Steel and Steel-concrete Hybrid Railway Bridges, respectively. Standard Specifications for steel and composite structures issued from Japan Society of Civil Engineers is introduced in detail, since it is the first time performance-based design in civil steel structural engineering field. The latter part of this paper deals with current construction trend on steel and steel-concrete
composite bridges in Japan. Evaluating formulae of ultimate flexure, shear and coupled strength of the composite and double-composite girders are proposed. It is for the establishment of the Limit State Design of
composite girder bridges.
Specifications for Highway Bridge and Standards Specifications for Steel and Steel-concrete Hybrid Railway
Bridges are introduced. The former is based on the Allowable Stress Design (hereinafter the ASD) and the
latter is based on the Limit State Design (hereinafter the LSD), and both are legal codes. Hence, in Japan,
the design of almost all highway and railway steel and steel-concrete composite bridges has been carried out
by employing them.
Committee on Steel Structures in Japan Society of Civil Engineers (hereinafter the JSCE) is now making
Standard Specifications for Steel and Steel-concrete Composite Structures. It consists of 6 volumes and,
among them, five volumes have been published. The above JSCE code is based on performance-based design.
Since it is the first time design code in civil steel structural engineering in Japan, the detailed explanation is
made in this paper.
In Japan, due to lack of the financial budget for public work, technological ideas or proposition for attaining the cost cut and higher durability are being strongly requested at the stage of new bridge construction. In
this situation, the competition between steel and concrete alternatives is now becoming severe. To cope with
this subject, the development and proposition of long-life, steel-concrete composite bridges, which utilized
each merit from steel and concrete, is active. Furthermore, it is emphasized, for the design of composite girder
bridges, that the shift of design concept from ASD to LSD is important. Because, utilizing inelastic strength
of the composite girder contributes to enhance the competitiveness. From this viewpoint, the effort of LSD
establishment for the design of composite bridges carried out by our research group is introduced.
Japan Road Association is in charge of issuing Specifications for Highway Bridges (Japan Road Association
2003). Photo 1 is the cover of it, which is 2003-version. The design of almost all highway bridges in Japan
follows it. The first version was issued in 1939, and modern style or format of it was established in 197212

version. Since then, even though small revision was made, essential change has not been made. It is based on
ASD and specification-based design, and it has been announced that LRFD format will be employed in the
next version under revision.
Railway bridges have been designed using Standard Specifications for Steel and Hybrid Railway Bridges
(Railway Technical Research Institute 2008). Photo 2 is the cover of it. In 1992, the design concept was
shifted from ASD to LSD.
3.1 General
Committee on Steel Structures of JSCE is making efforts for the advancement of technology in the field. The
technical subcommittees are set up to solve specific problems, and design codes are complied and constantly
updated based on the latest research outcomes. JSCE design codes are not mandatory. They are rather model
codes, but much more advanced than codes of practice which tend to be conservative.
In 2000, Committee on Steel Structures formed a special subcommittee on performance-based design to
study this new design approach in the field of steel structures. In 2003, the subcommittee published a report
entitled For Construction of Performance-based Design for Steel Structures (JSCE 2003). Following this
achievement, Subcommittee on Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures was set up in
2004. The subcommittee consists of six task forces, each of which deals with a specific phase of construction.
The standard specifications thus would be of six volumes: General Provisions, Structural Planning, Design,
Seismic Design, Construction and Maintenance. Three books have been already published from JSCE: the
first book combines three volumes of General Provisions, Structural Planning and Design (JSCE 2007), while
the second and third books are Volume of Seismic Design (JSCE 2008) and Volume of Construction (JSCE
2009). The last book on Maintenance is expected to come out in 2010. The covers of the report (JSCE 2003)
and the books (JSCE 2007, 2008, 2009) above explained are shown in Photos 3 - 6. The first book (JSCE
2007) is already available in English (JSCE 2010), and Photo 7 shows the cover.
As technology advances continuously and new demands on structures come up constantly, the preparation
for the revision of the published volumes is always underway.
3.2 Outline of the first book of JSCE Standard Specifications
Volume of General Provisions gives the basis of the standard specifications for steel and composite structures. It describes the design approach, the format for verification equations, terminology and so on, which all
the volumes follow.
Volume of Structural Planning shows the issues that must be clarified at the planning phase of design.
Volume of Design presents specific design requirements for the steel and composite structure. This is the
performance-based type of design code. Hence, the code does not have the specific design procedures/verification equations that designers must follow. All that code matters is that the structure will perform
satisfactorily; the way to ensure the satisfactory performance of the structure in the design phase is no concern of the code. For the sake of design convenience, however, the code provides the verification equations as
well that designers may use to verify the performance of the structure. These are often called deem-to-satisfy
design equations.
The performance requirements that Volume of Design has recognized are safety, serviceability, restorability, durability, social and environmental compatibility and constructability. In general, the satisfaction of the
performance requirements is to be verified referring to the associated limit state. However, it is not possible to
set up the limit state for all the performance requirements. Some performance items in the social and environmental compatibility, for example, need to be treated as an optimization problem instead.
3.3 Style of JSCE Standard Specifications
Committee on Steel Structures published Design Code for Steel Structures in 1997 (JSCE 1997). The cover is
shown in Photo 8. The code is based on LSD. This is a conventional design code, and the verification equations are specified. Volume of Design (JSCE 2007) is actually the update of the above code (JSCE 1997).
However, no equations are given, and the difference between two codes is obvious. This is because in the performance-based design, a designer can use any method of his/her choice to verify that the designed structure
would satisfy the performance requirements.


Photo 1. Specifications for Highway Bridges

Photo 2. Standard Specifications for Steel and Hybrid Railway Bridges

Photo 3. For Construction of

Performance-based design for steel structures

Photo 4. 2007 JSCE Standard Specifications

(General provisions, Basic Plan and Design)

Photo 5. 2008 JSCE Standard Specifications

(Seismic design)

Photo 6. 2009 JSCE Standard Specifications (Construction)


Photo 7. English version of

2007 JSCE Standard Specifications

Photo 8. JSCE Design Code

for Steel Structures PART A issued in 1997

While the performance-based design thus gives designers greater freedom, it could be burden in some case
to establish verification procedure from scratch. Hence, Volume of Design (JSCE 2007) provides the information on the deemed-to-satisfy design equations in the commentary, the utilization of which can ensure the
satisfaction of the corresponding performance requirements. Thus, even by the performance-based design
code, it would be possible to follow the same design procedure as that by a conventional specification-based
design code.
3.4 Format of verification equations
Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures (JSCE 2007) have employed the partial factor
method on the basis of the reliability theory for the performance verification. Thus, in principle, the verification equations in the deem-to-satisfy approach in the standard specifications take one of the following forms.
i d 1.0 ,

a S ( f Fk )

1 .0 ,
R ( f k / m ) b
where, Rd = the design resistance, fk =the characteristic value of material strength, m = the material factor, b
= the structural-member factor, R = the function to calculate limit value of structure from material strength, Sd
= the design response, Fk = the characteristic value of action, a = the structural-analysis factor, f = the action
factor corresponding to each action (load factor), S = the function to calculate response value of structure
from action and i =the structural factor.
In general, the values of the partial factors should be determined by the theoretical consideration coupled
with appropriate data. But the structural factor that deals with the importance of the structure and/or its social
influence when it reaches a limit state is somewhat different: it is usually decided by the owner.


As explained in Introduction, the development and proposition of steel-concrete hybrid (composite or mixed)
bridges in both steel and concrete sides is active.
Figure 1 and Figure 2 show steel I-girder and box girder bridges with a very simplified transverse stiffening system, which are alternatives proposed by bridge engineers belonging to three companies, East-, Centraland West-Nippon Expressway Company Ltd., former Japan Highway Public Corporation. Among these,
composite or non-composite twin-I-girder bridge has been evaluated to be the most competitive alternative
for bridges with a span from 40 to 60 meters. Figure 3 shows the total construction number and owners of
these types of bridge. From this figure, it is seen that increase of I-girder bridges is prominent. Figure 4 is PC
box girder bridges with steel corrugated web or steel pipe truss web. When the span length less than 40 meters, and exceeds 60 or 70 meters, PC bridges are evaluated to be very competitive.


In order to compete with long-span concrete bridges, steel bridge engineers are now proposing a doublecomposite girder bridge and cable-stayed composite girder bridge shown in Figure 5, however, they have not
been realized. In order to enhance the competitiveness of steel-concrete hybrid bridges, not only inviting new
structural system, such as double-composite girder and so on but also it is strongly emphasized to employ the
Limit State Design (LSD) or to shift from ASD to LSD
On designing steel-concrete hybrid bridges, the importance of shifting to LSD was emphasized in Chapter 4.
In order to establish LSD, the development or preparation of evaluating formulae of ultimate strength becomes very important.
Herein, we introduce the experimental research project carried out in collaboration with Expressway Research Institute Ltd., Nagaoka University of Technology, Saitama University and Japan Bridge Association.
Figure 6 shows failure modes of composite girders under pure flexure and shear, respectively. It is seen the
crushing of the concrete slab and diagonal tension filed. Figure 7 also shows failure modes of doublecomposite girders under pure flexure and shear.
In Chapter 6, evaluating formulae are proposed. They are our original proposition and are derived based on
nonlinear finite element analyses. The validity of them was confirmed through this extensive experimental research results.

Figure 1. Structural Innovation of I-girder bridges

Figure 2. Structural Innovation of box girder bridges


(a) Construction number

Figure 3. Newly developed bridges

(b) Owners

(a) Steel corrugated web

(b) Steel truss web
Figure 4. PC box girder with steel corrugated web and pipe truss web

(a) Double composite girder bridge

Figure 5. Proposed long-span steel bridges

(a) Under pure flexure

Figure 6. Failure modes of composite girders

(b) Cable-stayed composite girder bridge

(b) Under shear


(a) Under pure flexure

Figure 7. Failure modes of double-composite girders

(b) Under shear


6.1 Flexure strength of composite girder under sagging bending moment
The section is classified into compact when the web thickness (tw) satisfies Equation 3 given below, and the
strength is defined to be plastic moment (Mp).
2 Dcp


f y (or f yw )


At the actual design stage, ultimate flexure strength (Mult) of composite girder under the sagging bending
moment is defined to be smaller value of Mp or 1.3My (AASHTO 2005).

M ult = min M p ,1.3M y


Where, is given by the following Equation 5.

= 1 .0

D p / D t 0 .5

= 1.05 0.33( D p / Dt )

0.15 D p / Dt 0.4


(=1.0) is given to take into account of ductility condition. If the distance (Dp) from the concrete deck top
to plastic neutral axis becomes relatively large compared to the total girder height (Dt), the concrete crushing
is predicted to occur before reaching plastic moment. is to take into account of this phenomenon.
Figure 8 shows the stress state at ultimate state, in which plastic neutral axis is calculated under the condition that the axial force of the section is zero, and Mp is the moment with respect to the neutral axis. The notations of Dcp, Dt, Dp, fy and fyw are also indicated in the figure, and E is Youngs modulus of elasticity.
In case that the section at intermediate supports is classified into slender (Mult = My), the maximum ultimate flexure strength is limited less than 1.3My (AASHTO 2005) (0.9Mp is defined in Eurocode 4 (CEN
2004)). Hence, Mp and 1.3My are compared, and the smaller strength is selected as the ultimate flexure
strength of the composite section under the sagging bending moment.
In a twin-I-girder bridge, almost all cases, the plastic neutral axis of the section is located within the concrete slab (Dcp=0). Hence, the section is classified into compact, and the ultimate flexure strength is plastic
moment. Furthermore, Dp (=Dcp) is small compared to the total height of the girder (Dt). It means that can
be left at 1.0.


Figure 8. Stress in composite cross section at ultimate state under sagging bending moment

6.2 Flexure strength of composite girder under hogging bending moment

At intermediate supports, where the composite girder is subjected to the hogging bending moment, cracking
in the concrete slab occurs. Hence, the resistant section consists of steel girder and reinforcing bars. Normally, the dead load from steel and concrete slab is carried by steel girder only, and the superimposed dead
load and live load are carried by the composite section consisted of steel section plus reinforcing bars. This
means two different sections comprises the resisting ones. They are steel girder only and steel girder plus reinforcing bars. Hence, there are certain difficulties in assessing the strength.
Here, as shown in Figure 9, the strength is calculated by using steel girder and reinforcing bars as the resisting section. In the figure, fcr,f is the strength of the lower flange under compression and fcr,w is the flexure
strength of the web ( Fukumoto. Y. (ed.) 1997). ft is the tensile stress in the flange, which is given under the
condition that axial force of the girder is zero. Since the stress in reinforcing bar fR is set to be larger than that
of actual situation, flexure strength calculated using this stress state overestimates the strength. Hence, 90% of
the strength thus obtained is set as the design strength.

Figure 9. Stress in [steel + reinforcement] cross section at ultimate state under hogging bending moment


6.3 Flexure strength of double-composite girder under hogging bending moment

The flexure strength is given by

Mult = (Dp / Dt )M p


Since the concrete is attached to the web through lying studs as shown in Figure 10, the section is expected
to be classified into compact. In the actual case, the concrete slab has to be arranged that the ratio of (Dcp
/tw) satisfies Equation 3.
6.4 Flexure strength of steel girders under construction
From Figure 9, flexure strength of steel girder is calculated. fcr,f and fcr,w in the figure are the same as those defined in 6-2. ft is also given from the condition that the axial force in the girder is zero.
6.5 Shear strength of composite girders
The shear strength Qult is assessed using formula proposed by Basler (Basler, K. 1961). It is derived for the
steel girder only and is the sum of elastic buckling strength and post buckling strength. In case of composite
girders, due to the contribution obtained from concrete slab, the strength is expected to increase. However, an
exact identification of contribution of the slab to strength is difficult. Hence, from a conservative viewpoint,
its effect is neglected.

Figure 10. Double-composite section for flexure strength under hogging bending moment

6.6 Shear strength of double-composite girders

As shown in Figure 11, the web height is divided into hw1 and hw2 in order to evaluate the shear strength of the
double-composite girder. The shear strength of the steel part with the depth of hw1 is assessed by Baslers formula and the strength of the steel part with the depth of hw2 is assessed as yhw2tw. Where, y is the shear yield
stress. The sum of the both strength is the shear strength of the double-composite girders.
6.7 Coupled flexure and shear strength of steel and composite girders
Because the coupling effect of flexure and shear is comparatively small, it is neglected in case of composite
girders. However, in case of steel girder, the following formula is used.



1 .0



where, M and Q are actions under factored load. Mult and Qult are flexure strength and shear strength defined
above, respectively.

Figure 11. Double-composite section for shear strength

The design code of Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges issued from Japan Road Association and
Standard Specifications for Steel and Hybrid Railway Bridges are introduced. Most of highway and railway
steel and composite bridges in Japan have been designed according to them, specification-based design.
The overview of some efforts of JSCE in the field of steel and composite structures is presented, laying
emphasis on the design codes, which is the first time performance-based design in civil steel structural engineering.
The current trend on steel and composite bridge construction is introduced. In order to enhance the competitiveness of composite bridges, the shift of design from current ASD to LSD is emphasized. In this connection, competitive formulae for evaluating ultimate flexure, shear and coupled strength of composite and double-composite girders are proposed. They are based on finite element analyses, and the validity of them is
examined through experimental research project carried out in collaboration of 4 organizations.
AASHTO 2005. LRFD bridge design specifications - 2005 interim revisions -. Washington, D.C.: AASHTO.
Basler, K. 1961. Strength of plate girders in shear. Journal of Structural Division, ASCE, Vol.86 No.ST7:151-180.
CEN, European committee for standardization 2004. Eurocode 4, design of composite steel and concrete structures, Part2, General
rules and rules for bridges. Brussels: CEN.
Fukumoto. Y. (ed.) 1997. Structural stability design - Steel and Composite Structures -. Elsevier Science.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 1997. Design code for steel structures Part A; structures in general. Tokyo: JSCE.
Japan Road Association 2003. Specifications for Highway Bridges, Part-2 Steel Bridges (in Japanese). Tokyo: Maruzen Publication.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 2003. For construction of performance-based design for steel structures. Tokyo: JSCE.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 2007. 2007 Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures - I General principles, II Structural planning, III Design -. Tokyo: JSCE.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 2008. 2008 Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures 2008 - IV Seismic design -. Tokyo: JSCE.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 2009. 2009 Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures 2009 - V Construction -. Tokyo: JSCE.
JSCE, Committee on Steel Structures 2010. 2007 Standard Specifications for Steel and Composite Structures (English version).
Tokyo: JSCE.
Railway Technical Research Institute 2008. Design Standards for Railway Structures and Commentary (Steel-Concrete Hybrid
Structures). Tokyo: Maruzen Publication.