Integral Abutment Bridge behavior under uncertain thermal and time-dependent load

Wooseok Kim, Jeffrey A. Laman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Prediction of prestressed concrete girder integral abutment bridge (IAB) load effect requires understanding of the inherent uncertainties as it relates to thermal loading, time-dependent effects, bridge material properties and soil properties. In addition, complex inelastic and hysteretic behavior must be considered over an extended, 75-year bridge life. The present study establishes IAB displacement and internal force statistics based on available material property and soil property statistical models and Monte Carlo simulations. Numerical models within the simulation were developed to evaluate the 75-year bridge displacements and internal forces based on 2D numerical models that were calibrated against four field monitored IABs. The considered input uncertainties include both resistance and load variables. Material variables are: (1) concrete elastic modulus; (2) backfill stiffness; and (3) lateral pile soil stiffness. Thermal, time dependent, and soil loading variables are: (1) superstructure temperature fluctuation; (2) superstructure concrete thermal expansion coefficient; (3) superstructure temperature gradient; (4) concrete creep and shrinkage; (5) bridge construction timeline; and (6) backfill pressure on backwall and abutment. IAB displacement and internal force statistics were established for: (1) bridge axial force; (2) bridge bending moment; (3) pile lateral force; (4) pile moment; (5) pile head/abutment displacement; (6) compressive stress at the top fiber at the mid-span of the exterior span; and (7) tensile stress at the bottom fiber at the mid-span of the exterior span. These established IAB displacement and internal force statistics provide a basis for future reliability-based design criteria development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-73
Number of pages21
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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