Estimation of Length Limits for Integral Bridges Built on Clay

In this paper, the maximum length limits for integral bridges built on clay are determined as a function of the ability of steel H-piles supporting the abutments to sustain thermal-induced cyclic displacements and the flexural capacity of the abutment. First, H-pile sections that can accommodate large plastic deformations are determined considering their local buckling instability. Then, a low-cycle fatigue damage model is used to determine the maximum cyclic deformations that such piles can sustain. Next, nonlinear static pushover analyses of two typical integral bridges are conducted to study the effect of various geometric, structural, and geotechnical parameters on the performance of integral bridges subjected to uniform temperature variations. Using the pushover analyses results, design guidelines are developed to enhance and determine the maximum length limits for integral bridges built on clay. It is recommended that the maximum length of concrete integral bridges be limited to 210 m (689 ft) in cold climates and 260 m (853 ft) in moderate climates and that of steel integral bridges be limited to 120 m (394 ft) in cold climates and 180 m (590 ft) in moderate climates.


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Citation Formats
M. Dicleli, “Estimation of Length Limits for Integral Bridges Built on Clay,” JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING, pp. 572–581, 2004, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: