Integral Abutment-Backfill Behavior on Sand Soil-Pushover Analysis Approach

Dicleli M.

JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING, vol.10, no.3, pp.354-364, 2005 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1061/(asce)1084-0702(2005)10:3(354)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.354-364
  • Keywords: Bridge abutments, Inelastic action, Thermal analysis, Backfills, Soils


This paper presents a study on the behavior of the abutment-backfill system under positive thermal variation in integral bridges built on sand. A structural model of a typical integral bridge is built, considering the nonlinear behavior of the piles and soil-bridge interaction effects. Static pushover analyses of the bridge are conducted to study the effect of various geometric, structural, and geotechnical parameters on the performance of the abutment-backfill system under positive thermal variations. The shape and intensity of the backfill pressure are found to be affected by the height of the abutment. Furthermore, the internal forces in the abutments are found to be functions of the thermal-induced longitudinal movement of the abutment, the properties of the pile, and the density of the sand around the piles. Using the pushover analysis results, design equations are formulated to determine the maximum forces in the abutments and the maximum length of integral bridges based on the strength of the abutments. Integral bridges with piles encased in loose sand and oriented to bend about their weak axis, abutment heights less than 4 m, and noncompacted backfill are recommended to limit the magnitude of the forces in the abutments.