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COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN OF AN INTEGRAL BRIDGE SUPER STRUCTURE USING

EXCEL SPREAD SHEETS


Ado Ma’aruf
(Department of Civil Engineering, Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil)
and
Nuruddeen M. Musa
(Department of Civil Engineering, Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil)

ABSTRACT
Integral bridges are single - span or continuous multiple -span bridges constructed without movable
transverse deck joints at piers or abutments. The integral abutment bridge concept is based on the
theory that due to the flexibility of the piling, thermal stresses are transferred to the substructure by
way of a rigid connection between the superstructure and substructure. Generally computer aided
analysis provides a very fast and accurate method of analysis and design of structures. An efficient
and robust excel spreadsheet-cell-object-oriented algorithm for the analysis and design of an integral
bridge superstructure was proposed and presented.

INTRODUCTION
A bridge is defined as structure which provides a passage over a gap or an obstacle without closing
the way beneath. The required passage may be for a railway track, road, or pedestrians and even for
carriage of fluids. The obstacle to be crossed may be deep valley full of water or river etc.
(Ponnuswamy, 2005)
In recent years, it has been established that a significant portion of world’s bridges are not performing
as they should. In some cases, bridges are carrying significantly more traffic load than originally
intended. However, in many others, e.g. simply supported spans and cantilevers, such structural
forms have many joints which are prone to leakage due icing and de- icing of rain or sand between
the joints which seal the joints and prevent contraction and expansion, which also permit the surface
runoff water from a roadway. Bearings are fragile and brittle element of the bridge which will require
replacement many times over the lifetime of the bridge, because malfunctioning of it can lead to
unanticipated structural damage. Beside that bearings and joint are expensive. (Eugene and Damien,
1999)
A cost-effective alternative increasingly popular among bridge owners is the integral abutment bridge
or integral bridge, terms generally referring to single-span or multiple span continuous jointless
structures with capped-pile stub-type abutments (Jonathan and Sreenivas, 2000).

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Integral bridge in simple words can be defined as a bridge without a joint. Integral bridges are
characterized by monolithic connection between the deck and the sub-structure (piers and abutment).
They span from one abutment, over intermediate support to the other abutment, without any joint at
the deck. Integral abutment bridge concept is based on the theory that due to the flexibility of the
piling, thermal stresses are transferred to the sub-structure by way of a rigid connection between the
super-structure and sub-structure (Martin, 2009). Integral bridge system generally composed of:
 Jointless superstructures constructed integrally with capped pile abutments
 Abutments supported by embankments and single rows of vertically driven piles
 Rigid piers with movable bearings, or flexible piers constructed integrally with the
superstructure
 Attached approach slabs that bear on abutments and abutment backfill
 Cycle control joints, of some sort, for the longer bridges, located between approach slabs and
approach pavements.
Jointless bridges have lower construction and maintenance costs (Alizadeh et al, 2010). However, a
standard design method for integral bridges does not exist. Several factors must still be investigated
to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of integral abutments, and the factors that influence
their analysis, design, detailing, and construction.
Bridge superstructure consists of the components that actually span the obstacle the bridge is
intended to cross. It includes Bridge deck, Structural beams members, Parapets, handrails, sidewalk,
lighting and drainage features. The superstructure carries the load passing over it and transmits the
forces caused by the same to the substructures. Typical integral bridge is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Typical integral bridge

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Generally computer aided analysis provides a very fast and accurate method of analysis and design of
structures.Spreadsheets are becoming increasingly popular in solving engineering-related problems.
Among the strong features of spreadsheets are their instinctive cell-based structure and easy to use
capabilities. Microsoft Excel is an electronic spreadsheet. As with a paper spreadsheet, you can use
Excel to organize your data into rows and columns and to perform mathematical calculations.
Excel is a powerful spreadsheet with VBA robust programming capabilities that can be a powerful
tool for modeling civil engineering problems. Spreadsheets can do basic calculations such as cost
estimating, schedule and cost control, and markup estimation, as well as structural calculations of
reactions, stresses, strains, deflections, and slopes. Spreadsheets can solve complex problems, create
charts and graphs, and generate useful reports (Essam and Bilal, 2011).
This paper highlights the use of Excel spreadsheet to design the integral bridge super structure.

METHODOLOGY
The intention of this study is to analyse and design an integral bridge super structure. The detailed
structural analysis will be undertaken using Microsoft excel spread sheet. The excel spreadsheet used
in this study was programmed to analyse and design integral bridge deck and beams.
The individual super-structure elements will be designed according to BS 5400 and BS 8110. The
spreadsheet was designed in such a way that user will only have minimum input in the design
process. The spreadsheets consisted of four sections which are shown in the chart below:

Input Geometry of the


super structural Member

Based on the Geometry the Dead and Live


loads are calculated and the Member loaded

Based on the Geometry and the


loads the member is analysed.

Based on the result of the analysis


the member is designed.

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ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF DECK
For analysis and design of deck the geometry section requires the following input:
 Width of carriageway
 Span of the bridge
 Depth of the deck
 Breadth to be used in design
 Concrete characteristic strength, Fcu
 Steel characteristic strength, Fy
 Concrete cover to be used
 Assumed bar diameter
Based on these data, the notional lanes to be used in live load calculations are determined
based on BS 5400 recommendations. Figure 2 shows the screenshot of the spreadsheet
geometry section.

Figure 2: Screenshot of the spreadsheet geometry section.

The loads comprising of live and dead loads are then calculated based on recommendations of
BS 5400. The live load comprises the HA and HB load. The HA load has two parts.
 A uniformly distributed live load which varies with the loaded length and For loaded
lengths in excess of 30m it shall be derived from the equation:
W = 336(1/L)0.67
 And knife edge load (KEL) of 120kN per notional lane.

While the dead load consisted of


 Concrete deck self weight= deck thickness × unit weight of concrete × safety factor
 Weight of Asphalt = thickness of asphalt layer × unit weight of asphalt × safety factor
Weight of Cement screed= thickness of screed × unit weight of screed × safety factor

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Figure 3 shows the screenshot of the dead load computations.

Figure 3: Screenshot of the dead load computations.

BENDING MOMENT
To ease calculations, bending moment coefficients are used to calculate moments
corresponding to the number of supports and spans.
Moments are obtained from the simple formula for dead and imposed load (UDL).

Moment = (coefficient) × (total load on one span) × (span)2

Using the moments obtained the deck design is done in accordance with BS8110.

ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF BEAMS


Since the bridge is integral, the beams are treated as frames. The geometry section in the
spreadsheet requires the following input:
 Width of carriageway
 Span of the bridge
 Depth of the beam
 Height of the abutment
 Breadth to be used in design
 Concrete characteristic strength, Fcu
 Steel characteristic strength, Fy
 Concrete cover to be used
 Assumed bar diameter
Based on the data in the geometry section, the dead and live loads are determined based on
BS 5400 recommendations.

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Figure 4: Screenshot of the beam loadings.

The beams are then analyzed as frames since they are rigidly connected to the abutment.
Figure 5 shows the idealized frame with the parameters used in the analysis.

I1

B C
I2

A D
HA HD

MA MD
VA

VD

Figure 5: Idealized integral beam frame.

These beams are analyzed as follows:

 IAB = B x D3 / 12

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 IBC = B x D3 / 12

 K = IBC x h / IAB x L

 N1 = k + 2

 Ma = Md = WL2/ 12 x N1

 Mb = Mc = - 2Ma

 Mmax = WL2/8 + Mb

 Va = Vb = WL/2

 Ha = Hd = 3Ma/h

(Reynold et.al, 2008)

Where
IAB and IBC denotes the moment of inertia,
K denotes stiffness,
M denotes bending moment,
V denotes shear force
And all other parameters are as shown in Figure 5.
The frame is analysed, the bending moment diagram drawn as shown in Figure 6 and then
designed in accordance with BS8110.

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Figure 6: Bending Moment diagram of integral beam frame
MODEL SAMPLE RUN:
An integral bridge was analyzed and designed using the developed excel spreadsheet. The
bridge has the following parameters:
 10m single span.
 20o Skew.
 8m wide carriageway with 2 No 1.5m wide footways.
 90mm thick surfacing, this includes waterproofing.
 The road crossing over the bridge is a principal road
 Abutment height of 6m
The results of the analysis and design obtained were compared with manual calculations and
the only differences observed were due to the series of approximation in the manual
calculations.

CONCLUSION:
An efficient and robust excel spreadsheet-cell-object-oriented algorithm for the analysis and
design of an integral bridge superstructure was proposed and presented. Generally computer
aided analysis provides a very fast and accurate method of analysis and design of structures.
The spreadsheet developed in this paper shows how computer-aided design can increase the
speed and accuracy of design when compared with the manual way of design.

REFERENCES

Alizadeh M.H., Khalim A.R, Zamri C.and Mirhosseiny S.M. (2010 ) “Investigation of Abutment
Displacement of a Full Height Integral Bridges in Dense Granule Backfill” American J. of
Engineering and Applied Sciences 3 (4): pp749-756, 2010

BS 5400-2:1978, “Steel, Concrete and Composite bridges: Part 2. Specification for loadings”, British
Standards Institute, 389 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4AL, http://www.bsi-global.com/.

BS 8110-1:1997, “Structural use of concrete: Part 1. Code of practice for design and construction”, British
Standards Institute, 389 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4AL, http://www.bsi-global.com/.

Essam Z. and Bilal E.(2011 ) “Modelling Some Civil Engineering-Related Problems Using Spreadsheets
and VBA” European Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-216X Vol.48 No.3 (2011), pp.370-3

Eugene J. O. and Damien L. K.(1999 ) “Bridge deck analysis” E & FN Spon, 11 New Fetter Lane, London
EC4P 4EE

Jonathan K. and Sreenivas A. (2000) “Integral Abutment Bridges: Current Practice In United States and
Canada” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 14, No. 3, August

Martin P. B (2009) “Integral and Semi-integral Bridges” John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., United Kingdom

Ponnuswamy S. (1986) “Bridge engineering” Twelfth Print, Tata McGraw publishing company limited,
New Delhi, India.

Reynolds C.E, Steedman J.C and Threlfall A.J (2008) “Reinforced concrete designer’s handbook”
Eleventh edition, Taylor and Francis, UK.

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