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Case Study

Design and Construction of SteelConcrete Hybrid Piers for a


Light Rail Transit System in Palembang, Indonesia
Wiryanto Dewobroto1; Iswandi Imran2; Effendi Johan3; and Sri Yanto4
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Abstract: The light rail transit (LRT) project located in Palembang, Indonesia, is being built to address trafc congestion and support the suc-
cess of the 2018 Asian Games, a multinational sports event. The project consists of constructing a railroad network along with several stations
located at an elevation aboveground, supported by reinforced concrete (RC) piers. A problem arises when it is not possible to cast concrete for
the cantilevers on some piers located on the roads with a high frequency of trafc congestion. One solution to this problem is to replace the RC
piers with hybrid piers. The hybrid piers are modications of the RC piers in which steel frames replace the concrete for the cantilevers. The
use of these hybrid piers opens up the possibility of offsite fabrication of the steel cantilevers so that the erection can still take place during off-
peak hours and take less time. The use of these hybrid piers is relatively new for construction projects in Indonesia; the Palembang LRT project
is the rst project to have used this method. For this reason, it is important to understand this methods design principles and effects on the con-
struction process, especially about the connections between the steel and concrete structures. The hybrid piers are better than the RC piers,
because the hybrid piers eliminate the need for concrete casting, a process that often causes obstructions to trafc ow. This method has the
potential to be an alternative to pier construction for regions with high trafc volumes and high risk of trafc congestion. DOI: 10.1061/
(ASCE)SC.1943-5576.0000318. 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Author keywords: Steel-reinforced concrete; Connection system; Hybrid piers; RC piers; Alternative method of construction.

Introduction capacity, the railroad network and the stations will be built at an ele-
vation aboveground supported by RC piers. This condition means
Infrastructure projects in Indonesia often use the reinforced con- that the RC pier structures will be the main structural system deter-
crete (RC) construction method. This situation is understandable, mining the bearing capacity of the whole LRT construction (Fig. 1).
because materials for concrete construction are available more
abundantly than are materials for steel construction, which are often
Structural Piers to Support the LRT System
import commodities. RC construction also happens to be the chosen
method for the Palembang light rail transit (LRT) project, which is
The railroad network and stations (Fig. 1) consist of a simple beam
a project to build a mass transportation system that is taking place in
system resting on RC piers built along the LRT route. A problem
Palembang, a city in the province of South Sumatra, Indonesia. The
arises when it is not possible to cast concrete for the cantilevers on
LRT will connect the Sultan Mahmud Badarudin II International
some piers located on roads that have a high frequency of traffic
Airport and Jakabaring Sports City. The LRT system was selected congestion. Using this method would cause an almost total block-
because it is considered to be a solution for traffic congestion in age of traffic flow. One solution to this problem is to replace the RC
the city, which is predicted to become worse if not anticipated in piers [Fig. 2(a)] with hybrid piers [Fig. 2(b)].
advance, not to mention when the Asian Games, a multinational The hybrid pier is a pier structure in which a steel structure and a
sports event, will be held there in 2018. RC structure are combined. This system is a good option, because it
The LRT project is expected to be an alternative transportation promises a final structure that is justified economically with an effi-
system that will reduce the frequency of traffic congestion in cient construction process (Morino 1998; Roeder 1998). In the LRT
Palembang. For this reason, the LRT route will be parallel in the project, the hybrid pier design is a modification of previous RC piers,
design to the current main traffic flows. To preserve the current road that is, the RC part of the cantilever [Fig. 2(a)] is substituted with a
steel frame [Fig. 2(b)]. The current RC pier design will still be used
1
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Univ. Pelita Harapan, M. for the columns and foundations. It is apparent that a reconfiguration
H. Thamrin 1100 Blvd., Lippo Karawaci, Tangerang 15811, Indonesia (cor- of the reinforcement of the columns used for the hybrid piers is
responding author). ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9773-0581. E-mail: needed to accommodate the steel frames. By using this hybrid pier
wiryanto.dewobroto@uph.edu system, the steel frames can be fabricated offsite, and the installation
2
Professor and Principal Engineer, Pusat Rekayasa Industri ITB, X-PAU process can take place during off-peak hours and take less time.
Building, 3rd Floor, ITB, Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia.
3
Vice Director, PT. Perentjana Djaja Consultancy Services, Wisma
Pede, 34th Floor, M. T. Haryono Kav 17, Jakarta 12810, Indonesia. Effects of the Hybrid System on the Pier Failure Mode
4
Vice Director, PT. Megah Bangun Baja Semesta, Jagad Building 2nd
Floor, RP Soeroso 42A, Jakarta 10350, Indonesia.
Note. This manuscript was submitted on November 2, 2016; approved
The railroad network and the stations will be built at an elevation
on November 30, 2016; published online on February 14, 2017. Discussion aboveground simply supported by pier structures or bridge col-
period open until July 14, 2017; separate discussions must be submitted for umns. Depending on site conditions, some RC pier structures will
individual papers. This paper is part of the Practice Periodical on Structural still be built, and the hybrid pier structures (Fig. 2) will be con-
Design and Construction, ASCE, ISSN 1084-0680. structed on the roads that have a high frequency of traffic

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congestion. The pier structures will be the main LRT system struc- experience inelasticity, is the bottom part near the foundation (canti-
tures against vertical (gravitational) and lateral (seismic) loads. lever support). The critical part is far from the steel frame, which is
The horizontal structural system (beam configuration that supports the additional part of the system. What this means is that the modifi-
the gravity load of the railroad and stations) is considered to not con- cation of RC piers to become hybrid piers does not affect the ability
tribute to the strength of the lateral structural system or no effect in of those piers to resist seismic loads. The part that will experience
resisting the seismic load. All lateral load (seismic) will affect the pier inelasticity stays the same on both the RC piers and the hybrid piers
structure, which works as a cantilever system with the foundation as and is not modified at all. This condition also results in only the
the fixed support. In this condition, the pier structures failure mode is gravitational or dead loads influencing the designs of the hybrid
similar to that of ordinary bridge columns. The bottom part of the pier pier structures. Thus, the designs for these hybrid piers will not
will experience inelasticity, whereas the rest of the pier will still be need any special analysis on seismic loads. Therefore, the effects of
elastic (Priestley et al. 2007; Qinghua et al. 2008). seismic loads on the structure should be anticipated from the begin-
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The failure mode pattern on the bottom part of the pier (Priestley ning at the time when designing the RC pier structures.
et al. 2007; Qinghua et al. 2008) will also apply to both the RC piers
and the hybrid piers. The critical part, the part of the pier that will
Design of Steel Construction for the Hybrid Piers

With the hybrid piers, a steel cantilever [Fig. 2(b)] replaces the con-
crete cantilever that is on the RC piers [Fig. 2(a)]. For design purposes,
the steel frames are modeled separately and considered to be isolated
structures. The supports are at Point A (pinned support) and Point B
(roller support) for horizontal support. Then, there will be two gravita-
tional load cases, full-side loading and half-side loading (Fig. 3).
The load that will cause maximum force on the steel frames is
full-side loading. Using analysis and design according to the latest
Indonesian design regulation, Standar Nasional Indonesia (SNI)
1729:2015 (Standar Nasional Indonesia 2015; Dewobroto 2016), in
which the AISC (2010) regulation was adopted, it is possible to cal-
culate the dimensional profile for the steel frames (Fig. 4).
For purposes of the construction process, there are three different
segments of the steel frames. The joints fabricated in the workshop
Fig. 1. Typical view of a Palembang LRT station (courtesy of PT. make use of the welded joints, which have the same design strength
Perentjana Djaja Consultancy Services) as that assigned for the steel profile. The erection process in the field
makes use of heavy hex bolts based on the slip-critical capacity,

Fig. 2. Structural piers for LRT system support: (a) RC pier; (b) hybrid pier

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Fig. 3. Model of the hybrid pier steel cantilever with design loads

Fig. 4. Hybrid pier steel cantilever: (a) top view; (b) elevation

which also have the same design strength as that assigned for the initially discuss performance of the concrete columns where the
steel profile. joints were embedded.
The hybrid pier system is basically a modification of the RC pier
system, which was designed well in advance. Therefore, the details
Mechanism for Distribution of Force from of the RC pier structure must have fulfilled all design criteria for both
Steel to Concrete permanent (gravitational) and temporary (seismic) load conditions.
The RC pier structure system was designed to support the floor-beam
Division of the Steel Frame into Segments and the system, which is generally made of RC. It certainly leads to a greater
Erection Process load condition than the hybrid pier system, the structural system of
which consists mainly of steel. Because of the magnitude of the col-
The steel frames with continuous main elements (Fig. 3) are in umn load, which is directly proportional to the borne load of the floor,
the hybrid pier columns [Fig. 5(c)]. The best way to join the steel the design loads of the hybrid pier system will certainly be smaller
to the concrete is by using the embedded system. For construction than the design loads of the RC pier system. Therefore, if the hybrid
purposes, there are three different segments for the steel frames pier columns retain the details of the previous RC piers, their bearing
[Fig. 5(b)]. The embedding process of the middle segments hap- capacity would certainly be sufficient.
pens during the concrete-placement process [Fig. 5(a)]. Erection In relation to the joint-placement-to-column performance against
of the two other segments takes place after the concrete has earthquakes, under seismic load conditions, column performance
enough strength [Fig. 5(b)]. More important is that the erection can be considered a single-column system, which is fixed at the bot-
process will take place during off-peak hours. tom part or as a cantilevered structure system. Therefore, a critical
part of the column with an inelastic (plastic hinge) condition at the
Internal Design Distributions of Force from time of an earthquake is at the bottom part of the column, near its
support (Priestley et al. 2007; Qinghua et al. 2008). Because the joint
Steel to Concrete
location is placed in the midpoint of the column height, which is far
To determine whether the joint with the steel-embedded system can from the predicted critical part, to encounter an inelastic condition,
work well, it is necessary to predict and evaluate the mechanisms of the joint placement is not considered to deteriorate the performance
internal force reaction transfer. Accordingly, it was necessary to of an existing column. By taking into account the two points just

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Fig. 5. Hybrid pier construction stages in the Palembang LRT project: (a) concrete placement; (b) steel erection; (c) nal conguration

Fig. 6. Distributions of design forces from the steel to the concrete: (a) full-side loading; (b) half-side loading

discussed, joint evaluation is carried out only for permanent or grav- scenario is an assumption that is necessary for anticipating some in-
ity load conditions, which is an evaluation of the magnitude of the cidental scenarios. Because this is a public infrastructure, there has
ongoing stress concentration. to be a better, more guaranteed safety factor. This scenario might
happen when only one side of the cantilever is functioning and the
Case 1: Full-Side Loading other side is considered a failure (e.g., in the case of severe damage
Applying this design load will cause a maximum internal force on as a result of bomb blasts by terrorists). In this condition, all reaction
the cantilever element and will determine what steel profile to use forces on the cantilever will be distributed to the column/pier, and
(Fig. 3). Although this design load will cause a maximum internal they become a vertical compression force and simple couple forces
force due to the symmetrical configuration of the structure, the in- in the horizontal direction. A free-body diagram of the support due
ternal forces will balance each other out. Because of this condition, to the half-side loading is provided as Fig. 6(b).
the reaction force that transfers to the concrete will be of only a sim-
ple bearing stress type. A free-body diagram of the support due to Distribution Mechanism of Dead Load
the full-side loading is provided as Fig. 6(a). This case is the most (Full-Side Loading)
basic mechanism for force distribution from the steel structure to
the concrete structure. The determining factors are surface area and Fig. 6(a) shows the distributions of the forces on the steel frames
compressive strength of the concrete. due to the maximum design loads (full-side loading) around the
supports. The distribution of the forces from the steel to the concrete
Case 2: Half-Side Loading takes place near the support plate on the bottom, a square surface
This case is a scenario in which the loading is on only one side of that has the same size as the width dimension of the horizontal and
the cantilever, a loading scenario that rarely happens (Fig. 3). This vertical steel sections in the middle. Both of the steel sections use

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the same HB 350 profile, so the area of the square is A1 = 350  350 Under a maximum loading condition (full-side loading), the
mm (Fig. 7). The concrete that fills the steel profile acts as the stiff- steel cantilever system can withstand the load without interacting
ener so that there will not be any danger of local buckling. with or affecting the concrete pier. The tensile and compressive
Evaluations of the force distribution from the steel to the con- forces on the steel cantilever will balance each other out and not
crete are assumed to be on a concrete pedestal surface with an area affect the concrete. For this reason, there is no need to worry about
of A2 beneath the steel base-plate surface (A1). The surface dimen- the additional deformation caused by the creep that often happens
sion follows J8 of AISC (2010) or 10.14 of ACI (2011). According on a RC cantilever in the long term.
to the regulation, the force distribution will cover an area of the base
side of a truncated square pyramid (A2) with the base-plate surface
Distribution Mechanism of the Incidental Load
(A1) as the top side and the horizontal/vertical ratio of the sides as
(Half-Side Loading)
2:1. A2 is also defined by the support placement configuration.
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This condition is necessary for calculating the overlapping effect. The steel cantilever construction for the Palembang LRT station
The dimensions of the areas A1 and A2 for determining the mecha- pier structures is vital, because it will provide services to the public.
nism of force distribution from the steel to the concrete are avail- As a consequence, safety is the highest priority for this project. One
able in Figs. 7(a and b), respectively. way to guarantee safety is to ensure that if any local failure occurs,
The concrete bearing capacity follows the formula f cPp, it should not trigger failure of the whole system structure.
where f c = 0.65, the steel base-plate surface is A1 = 350  350 = Previous evaluations of the structures were against the internal
122,500 mm2, and the concrete pedestal evaluation surface is force distributions, as shown in Fig. 6(a), for the purpose of antici-
A2 = 650  650 = 422,500 mm2. According to AISC (2010), con- pating maximum load scenarios. The evaluations were necessary to
finement can be taken to aid the bearing capacity because A2 > A1. determine whether the force distributions from the steel to the con-
For a concrete compressive strength of fc = 30 MPa crete would cause any overstress. Although it was a maximum load
r scenario, the load configuration and the geometry of the structure
0 A2
Pp 0:85fc A1  1:7fc0 A1 (1) were those of an ideal condition. Interactions between the steel and
A1 the concrete were not much, except for the vertical compressive
r s reaction (Fig. 7). The evaluation result was quite satisfactory.
A2 422;500 Aside from the ideal (full-side loading) condition, it is also nec-
0:85 0:85 1:579 ! Pp 1:579fc0 A1
A1 122;500 essary to evaluate the structure against incidental conditions. In this
case, an unbalanced situation would occur because only one of the
1 cantilever arms is functioning. The causes can vary and are unex-
Pp 1:579  30  122;500  5;803 kN; then f c Pn
1;000 pected (e.g., a bomb explosion). Consideration of this condition is
necessary, because a number of incidents that were previously con-
3;772 kN
sidered impossible have happened. For modeling purposes, the
design loads make use of half-side loading configurations (Fig. 3).
The frame reaction force from Fig. 6(a) is Pu = 1,797 kN. The incidental (half-side loading) condition did not affect the
Thus, the bearing capacity ratio is R Pu = f c Pn 1;797= design of the steel frames. The biggest effect it has is on the force-
3;772 0:476 n 1 ! okay. distribution mechanism between the steel and the concrete, where

Fig. 7. Steel base-plate (A1) and concrete pedestal evaluation (A2) surfaces: (a) plan; (b) section a-a

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there are couple forces causing a moment on the concrete column. [Figs. 4 and 5(b)]. The ASTM A325 (ASTM 2014) heavy hex bolt
The reaction forces a distribution caused by the incidental loading joint method is used to combine the segments, designated as slip-
[Fig. 6(b)]. The transferred vertical reaction force has a smaller critical joints with the same design strengths as those of the steel pro-
value compared to that in the full-side loading condition. In that file. The joints are designated slip-critical to anticipate the occur-
case, it will not cause a problem. rence of dynamic loads that result from LRT train movements.
In transferring the unbalanced forces in the steel to the concrete Improper welding can cause a distortion as a result of uncon-
pier, it is necessary to add some stud anchors or shear studs with a trolled heat. The middle part uses a whole horizontal steel profile in
diameter of 16 mm and a minimum tensile strength (Fu) of the early stages to avoid this problem [Fig. 9(a)]. After all the weld-
450 MPa. The nominal shear strength of one shear stud on the con- ing on the middle part, the process continues by cutting the profile
crete according to AISC (2010) is as follows: into three segments and installing a previously prepared bolt joint.
q This method ensures that the rest of the segment-installation process
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Qn 0:5Asa fc0 Ec  Rg Rp Asa Fu (2) takes place exactly on the bolt joints to avoid any problems with the
erection process. The work is continued to finish the segments as
planned. The results are shown in Fig. 9(b).
where Rg = 1.00; Rp = 0.75; and using concrete with compressive
Dividing the steel frames into three segments also makes the
strength fc0 = 30 MPa, the minimum shear strength is Qn
hot-dip galvanizing process easier. This protection against rust acts
Qmin 67:8 kN. With the reaction force distribution shown in Fig.
as the minimal routine maintenance for the future. The process is
6(b), the number of shear studs needed for each steel pier is
reasonable in cost for the long term. It is necessary because those in
n Tu =Qn 2; 101=67:8  31. However, some engineers in the
charge of projects often consider routine maintenance to not be im-
project still have some doubts about this number. The reasons for
portant or even ignore it, and there is little (not enough) or almost
those doubts are that the engineers do not have enough experiences
no budget allocation for the process.
in the hybrid pier system, the frame structure is that of a cantilever
beam, which is considered a determinate structure (no moment
redistribution under ultimate conditions), and the engineers con- Column Concrete Placement
sider the joint to be the weakest link. For assurance, the joint
The hybrid piers concrete-placement schedule has to be coordi-
(between the steel and the concrete) will have the same design
nated with the steel-frame fabrication schedule, because it is impor-
strength as the steel profile. For an HB 350 steel profile with yield
strength Fy of 250 MPa, the maximum tensile strength is 4,376 kN. tant to embed one of the steel segments in the concrete (Fig. 10).
The to-be-embedded steel segment does not have any support
The number of shear studs necessary for said tensile strength would
during the concrete-placement process. For this reason, it is
be approximately 65 studs, or twice the previously calculated num-
ber. The installation configuration of the shear studs is shown in
Fig. 8.

Construction Method

Fabrication at the Workshop


Welding was the chosen method because of its simplicity and effi-
ciency. For quality control, full construction of the steel structures
took place at PT. Megah Bangun Baja Semesta workshop in
Tangerang, Indonesia. The workshop is far from the project site
(not even on the same island). The welding is intended to result in
the same design strength as that of the steel profile, mostly using
butt welding or full-penetration welding. For transportation to and
erection at the site, there are three segments of the steel frames

Fig. 9. Steel frame fabrication at the workshop: (a) early stage, in


Fig. 8. Shear studs as the mechanical method for transferring forces which the middle part was whole during welding; (b) division of the
from steel to concrete prole into segments

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Fig. 10. Concrete placement over the steel frames (courtesy of PT. Perentjana Djaja Consultancy Services): (a) placement of the steel frames;
(b) concrete-placement process; (c) after the removal of formwork

necessary to prepare some temporary support so that the frame does certain limits, the use of the hybrid pier is more costly than the origi-
not move during the process. This support rests on the dried con- nal plan.
crete column beneath it. The erection process for the steel cantilevers takes place in the
To avoid uncontrolled lateral movements, the tremie method is nighttime when the traffic volume is low. The process finishes
applied during concrete placement. The tremie concrete-placement before the daytime. The process itself is quick; thus, the erection
method refers to any placement by gravity feed from a hopper of the hybrid piers can be completed quickly. The site conditions,
through a vertical pipe, starting from the bottom surface in the mid- with high traffic volume under the hybrid piers that are under con-
point of the pier and then moving to the upper surface. For this struction, are shown in Fig. 12. It is obvious that the RC system,
method, a skilled and experienced field operator is required. which requires formwork, is not possible without causing traffic
congestion.

Erection Stage of the Steel Cantilever Frames


Conclusion
The main reason for using hybrid piers is that they are needed for
the erection of the steel cantilever frames. The duration is short, and For the RC pier built in the middle of the road with high traffic vol-
it can take place during off-peak hours. For this reason, the hybrid umes, the implementation of the concrete placement in its cantilever
piers are suitable only for construction on a road with high traffic part will cause intolerable traffic disruptions. As a consequence, the
volumes. Off-peak hours in this LRT project is during the night- RC pier system, specifically intended for that location will not be
time. One mobile crane with a capacity of 45 t is enough to erect the applicable. It is necessary to replace the RC piers with the hybrid
steel cantilever frames (Fig. 11). piers, a construction with both steel and concrete. With hybrid piers,
the cantilever makes use of steel frames that can be fabricated off-
Hybrid Piers of the Palembang LRT site and quickly constructed when the traffic volumes are low, or
during the night time.
The change of the pier system, from RC to hybrid, was triggered by The parts of the RC piers that become the hybrid piers are not
the onset of potential traffic problems at the project site, which can- parts of the critical parts that will experience inelasticity during
not be tolerated by the local authority. It was agreed that the hybrid earthquakes. For this reason, gravitational loading governs the
pier system, as proposed later by the contractor, would not cause design of the hybrid piers. Evaluations of the structures against seis-
any potential problems. Because the change was made when the mic loads are not necessary, because the critical parts are still the
project was up and running, it was necessary to redesign and obtain same as those in the previous evaluations of the RC piers.
a new tender to select a new subcontractor because there was some The steel-frame cantilever configurations of the hybrid piers that
unplanned steel-structure work. Therefore, in the decision-making are symmetrical and continuous are the ideal structural conditions
process, the cost differences between the two systems were not a under which to join the concrete parts. As a result, the embedded
major consideration on condition that the overall cost would still be system is enough to join the steel parts to the concrete parts. On the
within the range of the existing budget plan. As expected, within basis of this system, it is necessary to evaluate the force-distribution

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Fig. 11. Steel frame erection at night (courtesy of PT. Perentjana Djaja Consultancy Services): (a) lifting; (b) joining process; (c) nishing off the
other side

Fig. 12. Site conditions for hybrid pier construction in Palembang, Indonesia (courtesy of PT. Perentjana Djaja Consultancy Services)

mechanism against the two extreme loading conditions. One con- conventional RC pier system. Thus, the hybrid pier system is an
dition will be to anticipate maximum loading (full-side loading), effective alternative to the construction of a pier structure at loca-
and the other one will be to anticipate incidental loading (half-side tions with high traffic volumes, such as the ones commonly found
loading). In the full-side loading case, the condition under which in Palembang.
maximum dead loads take place, the piers bearing capacity is
more than enough. In the half-side loading case, for the incidental
loading condition, the analyses of the force distribution from the Acknowledgments
steel to the concrete show that shear connectors or shear studs are
necessary. The authors thank Totok Andi Prasetyo for assistance with the
The hybrid piers concrete-placement schedule has to be in coor- special data that have greatly improved this paper. Also, the authors
dination with the steel-frame fabrication schedule, because it is im- extend their gratitude to Edi Prayitno, who prepared the calculation
portant to embed one of the steel segments in the concrete for the reports and structural drawings.
embedded system to work.
At the time of writing, there have been several hybrid pier sys-
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