DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A STEEL ARCH BRIDGE IN VILNIUS OVER THE NERIS

Darius Žickis, Head of Bridge Department, Igoris Cypinas, Consulting Engineer, JSC Kelprojektas

The bridge was conceived as a link between the old town as a historical center of Vilnius and speedily developing right-bank part of the Lithuanian capital. Constructional height of the bridge superstructure was restricted by shipping clearance under the bridge by the altitudes of the adjacent streets. Additionally, high demands on the aesthetic appearance of the structure were made by the Vilnius city municipality as an investor of a project. The bridge had to be harmoniously inscribed into the river landscape and surrounding architectural environment of great historical value. It was decided that the half-through arch meets all these requirements and is the best solution from both the aesthetic and structural points of view. Moderate height of the arch does not disturb the silhouette of the historical centre of the city.

Fig. 1. The main view of the bridge. 1

The main view of the bridge is shown in Fig. The deck of the bridge accommodates three traffic lanes. in front of the Sport Palace. A major concern of designer was to ensure sufficient safety margin with regard to out-of-plane stability of the arch structure. The span length of the main arches is 75. The bridge was erected by the Lithuanian TILSTA company. and assemblage of the bridge superstructure. 1. The abutments are subjected to intensive horizontal thrust force. Strength and stability analysis of the spatial arch structure There is no bracing between the two main arches. 2 . that are accepted according to Eurocode 1. The dimensions of the box–shaped cross–section of the main arch are 1500×800×40 mm at the crown and 1900×800×40 mm at the support. and two 4. At last. and it is structurally independent of the main arches. These additional elements are used to support the stairs that lead to the lower right bank of the river. Flexible hangers carry the bridge floor system. Main participants of design team were architect Vladas Treinys and structural engineers Gintaras Bajoras and Arvydas Čibirka. Besides. The deck is connected to the arch by flexible hangers. The bridge deck is constructed of steel beam grillage and 150 mm thick concrete plate. 1.0 m wide sidewalks. these structural members give the bridge architectural expressiveness and combine the functionality of usage with structural expediency. these elements ensure the lateral stability of the main free-standing arches. The designer also provided erection stage analysis and construction engineering services. The bridge was designed by AB “Kelprojektas”. 3. Vilnius.5 m and the arch rise is 9. The bridge abutments rest on the pile foundations. Part 3 (see Lithuanian National Application Document [2]).5 m.The superstructure of the main span of the bridge consists of two free-standing arches strengthened by the auxiliary half-arches on both sides of the bridge. The bridge is designed in conformance with Soviet bridge design code [1].25 m each. Two main features of the project are described in this paper: the non-linear analysis of ultimate bearing capacity of the arch structure. and the pile design is controlled by horizontal bearing capacity of the piles. The structural steel components of the bridge have been fabricated in factory VILMETA. with the exception of traffic loads. The use of battered piles was unavoidable for this reason. The steel with the design yield strength 350 MPa and elastic modulus 206 000 MPa was used for the structure.

It is assumed that the line of crookedness coincide with the lowest buckling mode. This design procedure overcomes incompatibility between the elastic design analysis and limit state member design in conventional code-type methods. Pi and Trahair [4]. utilize the analogy between the elastic critical loads in a column and in an arch. Initial lateral crookedness of the arches is also accounted for. Material is assumed as perfect elastoplastic with von Mises yield criterion. Suggestions for arch stability check up based on analytical and experimental results of Sakimoto. The bridge was loaded with the main loading (load model 3 . and in the rest of the section acts equally distributed compression stress equilibrating tension in the edge welds. attached to the both sides of the bridge. Residual stresses from welding and initial out-of-plane curvatures have a considerable influence on the ultimate strength and inelastic lateral stability of arches. Stability of such a structure cannot be checked by simple analytical formulas. These elements. According to reference [9]. Finite element implementation and experimental verification of such design analysis for spatial steel frames is presented in reference [7]. The transition from elastic to fully plastic behaviour of arch crosssections is approximately represented by an appropriately adjusted parabolic moment-curvature function. Behaviour based ultimate load design approach can be achieved by plastic-zone analysis. Inelastic stability and ultimate strength of the arch bridges are more rigorously treated in reference [6]. In this paper. The renowned effective length procedure is used to evaluate the inelastic effects by means of code-type beam-column design formulas. significantly enhance the lateral stiffness of the whole structure. presented therein. All these formulas can be applied only to conventional arch types. existing code-type methods do not allow consistent verifying of arch stability beyond the elastic range. [5] proposed design formulas based on inelastic finite element results for lateral buckling of steel arches. direct materially and geometrically nonlinear finite element analysis of arched bridge superstructure is presented. it is assumed that at the box section edges residual stresses are equal to the yield stress σ y = 350 MPa. The maximum value of deflection from the vertical plane is taken equal to u 0 = L 500 = 0. Practical design tools. The authors use inelastic finite element model. The authors argue that arch rise-to-span ratio and load distribution factors must be included in design formulas. Geometric nonlinearity is accounted for by beam-column stability functions. Yamao and Komatsu can be found in Guide [3]. Residual welding stresses are also taken into account. Three-dimensional curved beam finite element [8] was used in the analysis. Moreover.151 m.The load-carrying system comprises main arches and the auxiliary half-arches interconnected by the cross bars.

was taken as effective length of an equivalent beam-column. By another way one determines l ef from Euler’s formula: l ef = π EI y N cr (1. Using the analogy with beamcolumn the effective length is determined as an arc-length of the arch portion between the inflection points of the buckling mode. a linear buckling analysis was performed.2) 4 . σ max — maximum stress in the cross-section. 2. First buckling mode in horizontal plane Linear analysis gives unrealistically high safety margin for overall stability of the structure.9 and according to SNiP [1] buckling parameter is equal to ϕ = 0.1) according to PNT-T 97 [2]. One can directly insert the effective length l ef = 28. Design code SNiP [1] prescribes more realistic effective length procedure.923 was obtained. After some algebra this formula reads as λ= l ef iy σ0 σ max (1. σ 0 — stress at the centroid. l ef = 28. 2. 2. As a result of linear analysis the lowest critical loading parameter η = 5. Design code gives semi-empirical formula for slenderness ratio.72 into the formula.58 . Fig. ANSYS finite element method software [10] was used for numerical calculations. There are two ways to use this formula. Corresponding buckling mode is shown in Fig.72 m. The result is λ = 70. First. The left half-wave in the Fig.1) where i y — radius of inertia about the vertical axis. Double-axle concentrated loads were placed on the quarter of the arch span.

We take the value of N cr = 81.26 for the second one. 4.74 . So one obtains the safety limit against buckling ϕR y σ max . and corresponding slenderness ratio is λ = 54. 2). 3.78 .77 for the first method and ϕR y σ max = 2.1 MPa. Maximum stress due to design load is equal to σ max = 114.87 MN at the right quarter of the span where the buckling mode reaches its maximum (see Fig. Fig. Displacements at the connection between the main and auxiliary arches Fig. Resulting length is l ef = 18. The longitudinal stress MPa of the arch structure at the ultimate state 5 . Buckling parameter is ϕ = 0.N cr value in this expression is somewhat arbitrary because the axial force of the arch in the prebuckling state is variable. It equals to ϕR y σ max = 1. where Ry = 350 MPa.30 m.

In order to keep the stress in safe limits during the launching the strings were 6 . During the construction stage. TILSTA company. they do not reach in the plastic region the real yield limit σ y = 350 MPa. Owing to that the high accuracy of fabricated elements was achieved. up to 10 meters long.3. 4. But in the presence of the auxiliary half-arches the system remained redundant. The main contractor. It is significantly larger than the safety margin calculated by means of the code formulas based on linear calculations. The main arches and auxiliary half-arches were tied by the temporary strings (see Fig. This circumstance complicated removing the falsework. The values of the indicated compressive stresses are presented less the initial stress due to welding. Butt straps with high-strength bolts were used for in-place connections. One can see that the points of maximum lateral displacement and of maximum compressive stress coincide.Nonlinear performance-based finite element numerical analysis by means of ANSYS finite element program revealed the realistic value of safety margin against ultimate load of the structure. the main arches were erected as three-hinged. The maximum attained nonlinear load parameter is η = 3. 5) and the whole arch structure was connected by the erection ties. Production of steel arch segments and assemblage of the arches Box-type segments of the main arches are made of 40 mm thick steel sheets. The segments of the arches. That indicates the conservative character of these formulas. Moreover. Additional research is needed to determine appropriate safety factors for the performance-based stability check up. One end of the structure was put on the rail bogies and another end was placed on a pontoon. The stress state of the structure is shown in Fig. These additional coefficients are included in code-type beam-column formulas. Computer-controlled flame-cutting unit was used for preparation of sheet elements of arch segments and bridge floor beams.41 . For this reason. utilized an unconventional method of bridge launching. 2. were assembled on the falsework on the right riverside. The arches were conveyed to design position in this manner. In order to secure the high precision of fabricated segments they were joined up for trial in an erecting shop at the factory. computer program ensures the optimal cut out of sheet material. Displacement versus load parameter curve is showed in Fig. The discrepancy between the effective-length-based and numerically computed safety margins can be explained by the additional safety coefficients accounting for loss of stability. The maximum lateral displacements were observed at the connection point of the main and auxiliary arches.

1. 5. Owing to careful selection of strings pre-tension forces additional stresses during the arch lifting not exceeded 50 MPa. The Satellite Navigation System with electronic theodolite LEICA TCR-705 was used to ensure the accurate position of the bridge superstructure. the arch bearings were concreted.gradually pre-tensioned and the ends of arches were successively lifted. Successful completion of the project mostly depended on close co-operation between designer. The whole process. factory and builder. 675 cubic meters of pre-fabricated reinforced concrete bridge floor slabs and 970 tons of steel were used for construction works. 3. 715 reinforced concrete piles. Temporary strings are shown The process had been simulated analytically by means of ANSYS finite element program [10]. There were three successive stages of the pre-tension and lifting. took no more than 20 months. High accuracy of the arches was achieved: the lateral deflection of the arches from the vertical plane did not exceed 10 mm. To model the consecutive lifting process compression-only contact elements were used to represent the falsework supports. Final remarks and conclusions The project displayed a combination of architect’s aesthetic idea with creative thought of structural engineer. 2. 4120 cubic meters of cast-inplace concrete. 7 . but the conventional code-type calculation guaranty the necessary safety margin. Performance based plastic zone analysis of spatial arch structure needs additional investigation of reliability. After positioning. The structural solution without the lateral bracing proved to be sufficiently stable in regard of out-of-plane buckling. from the initial design to the completion of works. Fig. and temporary hinges at the arch crowns were closed. Assemblage of the arch structure. The whole project cost totaled to 5640000 EUR.

11-26. Мосты и трубы. R. p. 1999. 1998. Clearances. Lee. PA. Teh. Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures. 11. T. Engineering Structures. Inc.p. Feb. 2003. 1998. 5. Wiley. 2. Plastic Zone Analysis of 3D Steel Frames Using Beam Elements. N. N. 174 – 183. Owing to precise fabrication of steel elements the trial assemblage in an erecting shop is unnecessary. 1988.124. Theory. Journal of Structural Engineering. Trahair. 10. vol. S. No. 11. gabaritai. 1995. Nov. 1989. Performance based design of steel arch using practical inelastic nonlinear analysis. No. 2706 – 2726. ed. L. vol. p. Out-of-Plane Buckling and Strength of Steel Arches. 2. 6. Y. СНиП 2. Loads). S. Ma.p. 91 -108. (In Lithuanian). 7. Journal of Constructional Steel Research. 993–1005.p. E. In order to avoid overstress of the arch structure in the process of launching careful calculation of pre-stress forces and lifting stages is required. Choi. 8. Ibrahimbegovič. S.125. Y. H. SNiP 2. No.-L. Lithuanian Road Administration. On finite element representation of geometrically nonlinear Reissner’s beam theory: three-dimensional beam elements. 4. p. Galambos. P. New York. PNT-T 97. apkrovos). Moscow. Lietuvos automobilių kelių direkcija. 22. p. Thin-Walled Steel Box Columns under Biaxial Loading.3. Clarke.115. Y.p. 3. Kohnke.-E. J. Cononsburg.05. References 1. 59. Design Standard and Regulation for Highway Bridges. (In Russian). Inelastic Lateral Buckling Strength and Design of Steel Arches. Automobilių kelių tiltų projektavimo normos ir taisyklės. Bridges and Culverts. (Bendroji dalis. 1998. Fifth Edition. Journal of Structural Engineering.03-84. 1988. ed.-L.-H. 4. vol 122. vol.05. 1. Москва.p. 9. 1998. PNT-T 97. vol. S. Liew.-S. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. ANSYS. Kim. Shanmugam. 2001. S. No. vol. Journal of Structural Engineering. N. Pi. Jan. p. Nov.p. S. 1328 – 1337. V. J. A. M. L. (General. Trahair. p. 911 p. 8 . 2000. Pi.03-84.

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