Parametric Study on Effects of Pile Orientation in Integral Abutment Bridges

December 14, 2016
Publication: ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering
Author(s): Brooke Quinn Scott A. Civjan

For integral abutment bridge (IAB) design, there is no consensus on the preferable orientation of the piles supporting the abutment, although variations can affect overall bridge behavior and forces in the piles. This paper details a parametric study of steel girder IABs that used finite-element models to compare the effects of pile orientation on bridges of various lengths and skews. For this study, the bridge lengths investigated were 15.2 m (50 ft), 30.5 m (100 ft), and 45.7 m (150 ft) with skew angles of 0, 15, 30, and 45°. H-pile orientation of webs parallel and perpendicular to the abutment centerline were investigated and compared. The results apply to the thermal response of the models and report abutment and pile displacements, pile weak-axis and strong-axis bending moments, and ratios of maximum bending moments to yield moments. Results show that there is not one optimal pile orientation; rather, optimal orientation depends on other factors. Beyond the effects of length and skew angle, choice of orientation should consider expected temperature range, construction temperature, and backfill conditions.

Services: Structural Design
Markets: Bridge