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Limitations for Semi-Integral Abutment Bridges

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

TR-739

START DATE

11/15/17

END DATE

10/31/20

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Behrouz Shafei

Faculty Affiliate

Co-Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

About the research

Semi-integral abutment bridges play an important role in meeting Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) bridge design needs. By combining the benefits of both jointed and jointless bridges, semi-integral abutment bridges can sometimes be the only option in unique geometric and soil conditions. However, the limitations as to when and how they can be used have not been well established based upon an understanding of the measured behavior. Towards the ultimate goal of increasing the service life of bridges with minimum maintenance and repair, this project investigates the details and strategies that can be successfully implemented to increase the service life at bridge ends through the use of semi-integral abutments and tied approach details. In conjunction with the original scope defined for the IHRB-16-15 Project, this objective will be achieved through a comprehensive survey of existing literature, paired with field inspection and monitoring of semi-integral abutment bridges currently in service.

This research will pursue three main objectives:

  • Perform a literature search with respect to state DOT limits (e.g., bridge length, skew, etc.) for semi-integral abutments, including a summary of semi-integral abutment details used by state DOTs.
  • Inspect and report on Iowa bridges that include semi-integral abutments and tied approach details.
  • Establish a field monitoring program for at least two semi-integral abutment bridges for a period of 2 years.
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