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Long-Term Behavior of Integral Abutment Bridges [Technical Summary]
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  • Alternative Title:
    Joint Transportation Research Program Technical Report
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    Technical summary.
  • Abstract:
    Integral abutment bridges, a type of jointless bridge, are the construction option of choice when designing highway bridges in many parts of the country. Rather than providing an expansion joint to separate the substructure from the superstructure to account to volumetric strains, an integral abutment bridge is constructed so the superstructure and substructure are continuous. The abutment is supported by a single row of piles which must account for the longitudinal movement previously accommodated by the joints. The primary advantage of an integral abutment bridge is that it is jointless (expansion joints are eliminated) and thus reduces both upfront and overall life-cycle costs. In addition to other benefits provided by integral construction, the reduction in overall cost has led to INDOT requiring all new structures within certain geometric limitation be integral. These geometric limitations, traditionally based on engineering judgment, have been modified over time based as investigations have revealed more about the behavior of integral abutment bridges. While there has been a considerable amount of research and investigation conducted on the behavior of integral abutment bridges, information is limited on both long-term behavior and the effects of highly skewed structures. Because there is a great desire for the application of these structures to be expanded, this research serves to expand the understanding of the behavior of integral abutment structures. Additionally, updated geometric limitations are recommended along with design recommendations and recommended analysis procedures for properly modeling integral abutment behavior.
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