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Bridge Substructure

Abutments

MAB1053 Bridge Engineering


Faculty of Civil Engineering, UTM

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Subtructures
 Substructures may be classified as ‘end
supports’ or ‘intermediate supports’, according to
their position along a bridge.
 End supports can be abutment walls with
associated wing walls for closed side spans, and
either skeleton abutments or bank seats for
bridges with open side spans.
 Intermediate supports are the piers and columns
in all bridges with more than one span.

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Bridge Abutments
 Current practice is to make decks integral with
the abutments. The objective is to avoid the use
of joints over abutments and piers.
 Expansion joints are prone to leak and allow the
ingress of corrosion agents into the bridge deck
and substructure.
 In general all bridges are made continuous over
intermediate supports and decks under 6m long
with skews not exceeding 30° are made integral
with their abutments.

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Bridge Abutments
 Usually the narrow bridge is cheaper in the open abutment form and
the wide bridge is cheaper in the solid abutment form. The exact
transition point between the two types depends very much on the
geometry and the site of the particular bridge.
 In most cases the open abutment solution has a better appearance
and is less intrusive on the general flow of the ground contours and
for these reasons is to be preferred.
 It is the cost of the wing walls when related to the deck costs which
swings the balance of cost in favour of the solid abutment solution
for wider bridges.
 However the wider bridges with solid abutments produce a tunneling
effect and costs have to be considered in conjunction with the
proper functioning of the structure where fast traffic is passing
beneath.

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Bridge Abutments
 Solid abutments for narrow bridges should only be
adopted where the open abutment solution is not
possible. In the case of wide bridges the open abutment
solution is to be preferred, but there are many cases
where economy must be the overriding consideration.

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Open Abutments
 A bridge constructed at
existing ground level to
span across a road in
cutting may need only
nominal bank seats if
good foundation strata
are available at shallow
depths. This may give
rise to problems where
negative reactions are
likely to develop.

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Open Abutments
 Spill-through or skeleton
abutments are suitable
where spread footings
are needed at a level well
below a bank seat.
 It is often advantageous
to design a footing to
offset the foundations in
relation to the bearings,
because the permanent
horizontal loading shifts
the reaction.

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Various Types of Open Abutments

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Piled Foundation

Where load-bearing strata are at considerable depth below


the bank seat level, piled foundations have to be used.

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Wall Abutments
 Mass concrete is
Mass economic for small
Concrete heights, such as where
headroom is less than
that needed for vehicular
traffic.
 Cantilever is simple to
form but demanding high
Cantilever concentration of
reinforcement in the stem
as height increases

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Wall Abutments

Counterfort Stub Counterfort

 Counterfort and Stub Counterfort abutments. Reduces


weight of reinforcement compared with cantilever, but
calls for more complex shuttering.
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Hollow Abutment

 For high abutments on sloping ground, this


construction offers advantages over heavy
counterfort construction.
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Other Types of Wall Abutments

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Choice of Abutments
Wall Abutments
These are normally designed as a reinforced concrete
cantilever fixed along the base slab.
 Strutted abutments may be used for square bridges up
to 12m span, where advantage is taken of the
propping action of the deck to relieve the foundation
pressure under the toe of the footing.
 Backfilling to these walls is generally selected granular
material and earth pressures are often assessed on
the basis of an equivalent fluid density.
 Typical details :
a) Wall height – from 5m to 9m
b) Wall thickness – 0.7m to 1.1m

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Choice of Abutments
Skeleton Abutments
This type of end support consists of transverse cill beam across
one or more buried columns carrying the loads down to a base. It
can be used where the road over a bridge is on embankment and
a suitable foundation can be obtained near the previous existing
ground level.

Typical details :
 Columns spaced at 3.5m center and directly under deck bearings
where possible to avoid large bending moments in the cill beam.
 Columns placed at ends of the cill beam since wing walls are
cantilevered horizontally from each end.
 The rear face of a column is usually vertical and the front face
battered at 1:6 since each column is designed to act as a vertical
cantilever from the continuous based slab and horizontal loads
have a large effect.

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Choice of Abutments
Bank Seats

 If the road over a bridge is at or near to existing ground


level, then a bank seat may be sited at ground level
after either a s a simple base or carried on piles.
 A bank seat carried on piles driven through fill is
usually preferable to a skeleton abutment carried on
piles at a lower level.
 The height of a bank seat is often only 2-4 metres so
that it is possible to employ mass concrete wall
sections.
 Where the foundation level is above the level of a
nearby open surface, a slip circle analysis should be
made to check the stability of the bank slope.
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Choice of Abutments
Wing Walls
These walls are included at all end supports in order to
contain the immediate areas of back-fill. There are two
basic types to be considered and the choice is normally
made on purely structural or economic reasons.
 Horizontal cantilevered wall – this type is very economic
since it requires a minimum amount of material and saves
on excavation for additional footings.
 Vertical cantilever free-standing wall – this type is similar
to a normal retaining wall except that horizontal cantilever
extensions are often used. They are suitable beyond the
lengths and skew angles at which horizontal cantilevered
walls become unpractical. The main disadvantage is the
large height of these walls and the amount of buried
structure which causes the cost to become excessive.
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Wing Walls

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Wing Walls

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Wing Walls

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Modes of Failure
The stability of an abutment should be
checked for several modes of failure :
 Sliding failure
 Overturning
 Foundation yield
 Slip Circle
 Structural failure

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Abutments – Modes of Failure

Sliding Failure
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Abutments – Modes of Failure
Sliding Failure
 Resisted by friction in granular soils or adhesion
in cohesive soils, aided by the passive resistance
of the soil in front of the toe.
 If public utilities are to install services in front of
the wall, the location or depth of the trenches may
invalidate the passive resistance.
 Sliding resistance can be increased by
incorporating a heel below the foundations. Factor
of safety = 2.0 considering passive resistance.
 JKR use f.o.s = 1.5 not considering passive
resistance.
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Abutments – Modes of Failure

Foundation Yield Overturning


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Abutments – Modes of Failure
 Foundation yield (bearing failure) –
produces similar effect to overturning
 Overturning – In practice overturning is
usually associated with some yielding of
the foundation, since this produces very
high pressures under the front of the
footing.

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Abutments – Modes of Failure

Slip Circle Structural Failure


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Abutments – Modes of Failure
 Slip Circle – Only a problem in cohesive soils.

 Structural failure – Failure can occur in the


stem of the footing if an inadequate section is
provided (design fault). Factor of safety for
reinforcement is provided in code.
Substructure : nominal f.o.s. = 1.0 (piles). Use
partial safety factors for material.

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Basic Components of Abutment

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Forces on an Abutment

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Forces on an Abutment
 Dead load due to the superstructure. Proper
dead load include self-weight of beams and
deck. Superimposed dead load include
premix, surfacing, services and railings etc.
 Live load on the superstructure.
 BS 5400 – HA UDL and HD KEL
 BS 5400 – HB (45 units) abnormal vehicle load
 JKR Standard – special vehicle (SV)

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Forces on an Abutment
 Self-weight of the abutment – Components
of the abutment include main body, wing walls
and approach slab.
 Traction force – Horizontal forces due to
braking and acceleration of vehicles. BS 5400
specifies maximum traction force. JKR puts a
maximum value of 253 kN.

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Forces on an Abutment
 Temperature variations – Expansion and contraction
due to temperature variation will induce force in the
substructure. Substantial movements occur in steel
bridges. The temperature induced movements or
deflections give rise to forces which will be transferred
to the abutments.
 Creep and shrinkage – These are time dependent
properties of concrete. For both creep and shrinkage,
it is assumed (JKR practice) that about 50% occurs
after 3 months and about ¾ has taken place after 6
months.

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Forces on an Abutment
 Earth pressures – The equivalent fluid concept (Rankine’s or
Coulomb’s theory) is normally used for calculating the earth
pressures on an abutment, but the selection of the appropriate
intensity depends on the degree of restraint offered by the wall
and the particular calculation being considered.
 In a situation where a wall can move by tilting or sliding and the
backfill is a free draining granular material, active pressures are
assumed.
 A common design approach is to use an equivalent fluid
pressure of 5H kN/m2, where the active coefficient, Ka is normally
0.25.
 Modern compaction technique for placing the backfill material
and the use of more rigid type of construction have caused many
designers to estimate design pressures for the at-rest condition.
 The value of the earth pressure coefficient at-rest, Ko is often
taken to be 1.5-2.0 times the active coefficient, Ka.
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Forces on an Abutment
 Surcharge pressure – The effect of HA and
HB loadings on the carriageway behind the
abutment is arbitrarily treated as an additional
surcharge loading. The nominal values
suggested in BS 5400 for live load surcharge
are 10kN/m2 for HA loading and 20kN/m2 for
HB loading. The weight of granular material is
assumed to be 19kN/m3.

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Forces on an Abutment
 Wind loading – must be considered only for
bridges with spans greater than 20m. A typical
value for wind speed of 40 mph is assumed for
30m span.
 Seismic loading – There was only one case
so far in 1960 of medium size disturbance.
Long span bridges such as Penang Bridge
include seismic loading consideration in the
design.

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Forces on the Abutment

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Abutment (Load Case 1)

WA
Self Weight during construction

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Abutment (Load Case 2)

DL + HA
1/3 PSHB
Tr + Fstc + W
Pa

WA

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Abutment (Load Case 3)

DL + HB
1/3 PSHB
Tr + Fstc + W
Pa

WA

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Abutment (Load Case 4)

DL

Fstc

WA

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Design Standards for Abutments

British Standards
 BS 5400: Part 2: Specification for Loads
 BS 5400: Part 4: Code of Practice for the
Design of Concrete Bridges
 BS 8002: Code of Practice for Earth Retaining
Structures
 BS 8006: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and
Other Fills

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Design Standards for Abutments
Design Manuals
 BD30: Backfilled Retaining Walls and Bridge
Abutments
 BD37: Loads for Highway Bridges
 BA41: The Design and Appearance of Bridges
 BA42: The Design of Integral Bridges
 BD42: Design of Embedded Retaining Walls and
Bridge Abutments
 BD57 and BA57: Design for Durability
 BD70: Strengthened/Reinforced Soils and Other Fills
for Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments

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Basic Design
Considerations
Cantilever Wall Abutment

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Cantilever Retaining Wall
 The CONCRETE CANTILEVER
RETAINING WALL is constructed of
reinforced concrete and it supports
backfill soil by a cantilever action.
 The cantilevered stem portion is fixed
at the bottom and is free at the top.
The base slab serves as a fixed
support and prevents against sliding
and overturning.
 There is an option to install a key at
the bottom of the base slab to ensure
further safety against sliding.
 These walls provide prolonged
durability and serviceability. They are
widely used due to their ease in
construction and cost-effectiveness.
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Cantilever Retaining Wall

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Analysis & Design of Cantilever
Retaining Wall
 Stability Analysis
 Design of Concrete Members

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Modes of Failure
 Overturning
 Sliding/Translation
 Bearing capacity
 Bending or shear failure of stem
 Bending or shear failure of heel
 Bending or shear failure of toe
 Bending or shear failure of key

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Design Considerations
The design of the wall must:
 Resist sliding along its base
 Resist overturning
 Not exceed the bearing capacity of the
soil beneath the base
 Avoid excessive settlement.
 Built structurally strong to resist failure
from the build up of internal stresses
produced by external forces
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Forces and Pressures on
Retaining Walls
 The basic objective is to apply the conditions for
static equilibrium, which are:

1. All the forces in the horizontal direction


must add to zero.
2. All the forces in the vertical direction must
add to zero.
3. The clockwise moments (or torques) must
equal the counter-clockwise moments.

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Forces on Cantilever Wall

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Lateral Earth Pressures
 Lateral earth pressure is normally calculated
based on Rankine or Coulomb’s theories.
 Lateral earth pressure is assumed distributed
triangularly. The location of resultant is at 1/3 of
height.
 If there is surcharge, lateral earth pressure from
surcharge is distributed uniformly. The resultant
is at ½ of height.
 The lateral earth pressure is calculated at the
edge of heel.
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Lateral Earth Pressures

Ka.wH

Pa = 1/2Ka.γH2
H/2

H/3

Ka.w Ka.γH
Due to surcharge Due to backfill soil

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Pressure Coefficients
 The Rankine active earth pressure coefficient Ka
for the specific condition of a horizontal backfill
surface is calculated as follows:
Ka = (1 – sin(φ)) / (1 + sin(φ))
 φ is the angle of internal friction of soil backfill.
 The equation is modified if the backfill surface is
sloped.

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Stability Analysis

1. Check factor of safety against


overturning.
2. Check soil bearing pressure.
3. Check factor of safety against sliding.

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Overturning
 The rotating point for overturning is normally
assumed at bottom of toe. The height of soil
used to calculate lateral earth pressure should
be from top of earth to the bottom of footing.
 Elements that resist overturning are weight of
stem, weight of footing, weight of soil above
footing. If there is a surcharge, the weight of
surcharge can also be considered.
 The factor of safety against overturning is
resisting moment divided by overturning
moment. Acceptable factor of safety is between
1.5 to 2.
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Factor of Safety for Overturning
 Overturning moment is  The resisting moment is
calculated from : calculated as :

where Ws,Wf,We,Wk,Wq are


weight of stem, footing, earth,
Where γ is unit weight of key and surcharge,
soil, Ka is active pressure Xs,Xf,Xe,Xk,Xq are distances
coefficient, and H is the from the center of stem,
height from top of earth to footing, earth, key, and
bottom of footing, q is surcharge to the rotation point
surcharge. at toe.

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Factor of Safety for Overturning

 The factor of safety against overturning is


determined from :

FoS = Resisting Moment = MR


Overturning Moment Mo

 FoS should be > 1.5


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Bearing Pressure
 The centre of the total weight from the edge of
toe is

 Where W is total weight of retaining wall


including stem, footing, earth and surcharge.
 The eccentricity, e = B/2-X, where B is width of
base footing.

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Checking for Bearing Pressure

Σ W

Eccentricity, e = B/2 –X

B/2
Either,
X e ≤ B/6 or e > B/6

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Bearing Pressure
 If e ≤ B/6, the maximum and minimum footing
pressure is calculated as:

 Where, Qmax, Qmin are maximum and


minimum footing pressure, B is the width of
footing.

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Bearing Pressure
 If e > B/6, Qmin is zero,

 Qmax should be less than allowable soil


bearing capacity of footing soil.

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Sliding
 The driving force that causes retaining wall to
slide is the lateral earth pressure from soil and
surcharge.
 The forces that resist sliding are passive
pressure at toe, the friction at the base of the
footing; and the passive pressure against the
key if used.
 The factor of safety against sliding is the total
resisting force divided by total driving force.
Acceptable factor of safety is between 1.5 to 2.

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Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The driving force for sliding is calculated as

 The friction resisting force at the base of


footing is calculated as
where µ is friction coefficient between concrete
and soil. µ is often taken as tan(2/3 φ). φ is
internal friction of the soil.

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Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The passive resistance (if any) at the toe of
retaining wall is calculated as

 Where Kp is passive earth pressure coefficient, h is the


height from top of soil to bottom of footing at toe. If a
key is used to help resist sliding, h is the height from
top of soil to the bottom of the key.

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Factor of Safety for Sliding
 The factor of safety is calculated as

 Resisting Force, ΣF > Sliding Force, μΣW

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Forces on the Abutment

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Design of RC Members
1. Check thickness of stem for shear stress.
2. Design stem reinforcement for bending.
3. Check thickness of heel for shear stress.
4. Design heel reinforcement.
5. Check shear stress for toe when the toe is long.
6. Design toe reinforcement for bending.
7. Check shear stress in key when key is deep
and narrow.
8. Design key reinforcement for bending.
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Design of Stem

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Design of Heel

eu ≤ B/6

eu > B/6

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Design of Toe

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