Earth Pressure behind an Integral Bridge Abutment and Comparison with that behind a Conventional Bridge Abutment under Traffic Loads


1 geotechnical Eng., Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran-Iran

2 Assoc. Prof., Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran- Iran


 Integral bridges are gaining increased popularity because of both economic and fast construction associated with the omission of bearing supports and expansion joints. In the present study the cyclic earth pressure behind integral bridge abutments under traffic surcharges are investigated and compared with that induced behind the abutment of  conventional bridges (with isolated deck and abutment) under the same surcharges. A numerical modeling has been developed to evaluate the dynamic earth pressure using the FLAC package. The model was calibrated by direct measurement of earth pressure behind a physical model developed in soil mechanics laboratory to study the behavior of retaining walls.The induced earth pressures under static and cyclic conditions are evaluated and the pressure distribution behind the wall as well as the point of application of the total thrust was determined. The results have shown significant changes happen in both quantity and distribution of earth pressure behind the abutment when using integral bridges. The details of findings and their causes will be discussed in the next sections.