Field Behavior of an Integral Abutment Bridge Supported on Drilled Shafts

The abutments of integral bridges are traditionally supported on a single row of steel-H-piles that are flexible and that are able to accommodate lateral deflections well. In Hawaii, steel-H-piles have to be imported, corrosion tends to be severe in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the low buckling capacity of steel-H-piles in scour-susceptible soils has led to a preference for the use of drilled shaft foundations. A drilled shaft-supported integral abutment bridge was monitored from foundation installation to in-service behavior. Strain gauge data indicate that drilled shaft foundations worked well for this integral bridge. After 45 months, the drilled shafts appear to remain uncracked. However, inclinometer readings provide a conflicting viewpoint. Full passive earth pressures never developed behind the abutments as a result of temperature loading because thermal movements were small and the long term movements were dominated by concrete creep and shrinkage of the superstructure that pulled the abutments towards the stream. In the stream, hydrodynamic loading during the wet season had a greater effect on the abutment movements than seasonal temperature cycling. After becoming integral, the upright members of the longitudinal bridge frame were not vertical because the excavation and backfilling process caused deep seated movements of the underlying clay resulting in the drilled shafts bellying out towards the stream. This indicates the importance and need for staged construction analysis in design of integral bridges in highly plastic clays. Also, the drilled shaft axial loads from strain gauges are larger than expected.

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  • Authors:
    • Ooi, Phillip S K
    • Lin, Xiaobin
    • Hamada, Harold S
  • Publication Date: 2010


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01148529
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 19 2010 4:27PM