Seismic Performance of Columns with Grouted Couplers in Idaho Accelerated Bridge Construction Applications

In Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods, one way to connect prefabricated columns is by using grouted steel bar couplers. As of October 2016, in the U.S., only Utah Department of Transportation allows the use of grouted couplers in plastic hinge locations in seismic zones. The main focus of this research project is on seismic performance of grouted coupler column-to-footing and column-to-bent cap connections under Idaho seismic conditions. The performance of grouted coupler connections is compared to the conventional cast-in-place connections. Three Idaho bridges were selected for computer analysis. They were placed in the most seismically active location in Idaho. All three bridge columns performed well. The stresses in both the longitudinal reinforcing bars and the grouted coupler regions are well within acceptable range. The largest column drift, using combination of orthogonal displacements, is 1.6 percent. The single column analysis under large drift shows that grouted couplers may be used to connect precast columns to footings or cap beams for columns with less than 4 percent drift. The low-cycle fatigue analysis indicates that at higher strains the use of ASTM A706 steel will significantly improve the fatigue life of the reinforcing bars.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Idaho State University, Pocatello

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Pocatello, ID  United States  83209-8060

    Idaho Transportation Department

    Division of Engineering Services, Contracting Services, Research Program
    P.O. Box 7129
    Boise, ID  United States  83707-7129

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Ebrahimpour, Arya
    • Earles, Barbara E
    • Maskey, Supreme
    • Tangarife, Maria
    • Sorensen, Andrew D
  • Publication Date: 2016-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 213p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01665723
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-ID-16-246, RP 246
  • Contract Numbers: ISU-15-01
  • Created Date: Apr 9 2018 12:15PM