Accelerated Construction of Pile Foundations by Means of Elimination

The advancement of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) has primarily been through focused effort on deck and superstructure design and construction methods. Further acceleration can be achieved through focused effort on bridge substructures. Ongoing efforts in the State of Iowa may provide benefit to ABC methods by identifying code conservatism. Reducing the total foundation requirements and effort required for substructure construction will result in a reduction of overall construction costs and time. A project recently completed for the Iowa Department of Transportation investigated the contributions of concrete encasements of steel H-piles used for bridges which have historically not been considered in the design process. The initial reason for the project was to determine the remaining capacity of a pile when subjected to scour, leaving bare the uncased portion of a pile. A tool was developed to calculate capacity and a subsequent laboratory investigation was completed to validate the pile capacity assessment tool. The study concluded the pile capacity is greater than what has been otherwise calculated. As a secondary result, consideration has been given to revising the capacity calculations of new piles especially in fully-encased pile bents. This project aims to identify the unbraced height limits of steel H-piles when fully-encased and thus expedite foundation construction by taking advantage of the increased capacities and reducing the total number of required piles. By addressing design code conservatism, construction time may be decreased.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $74843
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC)

    Florida International University
    10555 W. Flagler Street
    Miami, FL  United States  33174

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    Town Engineering Building
    Ames, IA  United States  50011-3232
  • Principal Investigators:

    Dahlberg, Justin

  • Start Date: 20220701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01889268
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747121
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2023 8:56AM