Numerical simulations and field monitoring of integral abutment bridges

James Lafave, Larry Fahnestock, Matthew Jarrett, Beth Wright, Joseph Riddle, Jeffrey Svatora

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Integral abutment bridges (IABs) can result in decreased construction and maintenance costs, but certain aspects of their structural behavior are still not well understood. Most IAB research has related to the behavior of their substructures, with the limit states considered by entities such as the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) largely based on substructure considerations. It is expected that integral abutment construction also affects superstructure behavior and demands, in addition to superstructure properties directly influencing substructure behavior. As a result, IDOT and the Illinois Tollway have sponsored a research project, investigating IAB behavior as it relates to bridge superstructures. The overall goal of the research is to improve design and construction provisions and details for IABs, so that actual in-service demands are more rigorously considered and IABs are efficiently used. The research project is employing a detailed suite of parametric numerical simulations, complemented by thorough field monitoring of two IABs located in northern Illinois. This paper presents findings from: 1) a subset of the numerical simulations, where effects of parameters such as abutment skew, overall bridge length, intermediate span length, and bridge width are examined; and 2) preliminary field data from the monitored bridges for the first complete summer-to-winter temperature cycle. An initial assessment of the key response quantities of longitudinal bridge displacement, thermally-induced elastic stresses in the superstructure, and inelastic pile strains are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Structures Congress
EditorsNathan Ingraffea, Mark Libby
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479117
StatePublished - 2015
EventStructures Congress 2015 - Portland, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2015Apr 25 2015

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Structures Congress


OtherStructures Congress 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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