Behavior of Laterally Loaded Piles Supporting Bridge Abutments - Phase II

Tests were performed over approximately a three-year period to investigate the behavior of integral abutments supported by prestressed concrete piles. Four abutments were tested. The piles were embedded 12 in. into a 36-in.-wide concrete abutment. A slab was cast on top of the abutment to provide ballast, to provide a way to apply lateral load to the system, and to provide a way to restrain the system as lateral load was applied. Restraint was provided by hold-down arms to assure that there was a reversal of moment in the pile at a relatively shallow depth, consistent with restraint expected to occur in a typical highway bridge with integral abutments. The basic test regimen consisted of three tests to 0.5 in. and three tests to 1.0 in. in each direction at a rate of testing of approximately 1.0 in. in 4 hours. After the basic test regimen was completed, other more stringent tests were performed at a much faster rate of loading. The abutments in these tests remained essentially undamaged throughout the entire range of testing. In the tests of abutments on steel piles, the abutments themselves limited the amount of horizontal displacement that the system could tolerate without loss of integrity. In the tests of abutments on prestressed concrete piles, the amount of horizontal displacement was limited by the piles. The results of the research on prestressed concrete piles supporting integral abutments led to the unequivocal conclusion that such piles are appropriate for use in integral abutment bridges. The results also indicate that the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s design criterion which allows 1.0 in. horizontal displacement in each direction is conservative. While no specific recommendation of maximum allowable displacement was formulated through the research, a value of displacement of as much as 1.5 in. would appear to be reasonable.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report - Phase II
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 57p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01054637
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TNSPR-RES1190
  • Contract Numbers: RES 1190
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2007 4:54PM