Strength and Stability of Prestressed Concrete Through-Girder Pedestrian Bridges Subjected to Vehicular Impact


Eray Baran, Arturo Schultz, Catherine French

January 2007

Report no. MnDOT 2007-08

Two issues regarding the prestressed concrete through-girder pedestrian bridge system are investigated. The first issue concerns the ductility of prestressed concrete girders in these bridges because the section that is typically used may be considered to be over-reinforced according to AASHTO LRFD Bridge Specifications. Response of the section, including neutral axis location, strand stress at ultimate capacity, and moment capacity, predicted by AASHTO Standard and AASHTO LRFD Specifications are compared with the sectional response determined from nonlinear strain compatibility analyses. Modifications are proposed to the AASHTO LRFD procedure to rectify the errors in predicting sectional response.

The second issue that was investigated concerns the strength and stability of prestressed concrete through-girder pedestrian bridges when subjected to impact by over-height vehicles. Three-dimensional finite element models of entire bridges and subassemblages were used to evaluate the strength, stiffness, and ductility characteristics of the bridge system and connection details. Accurate representation of the bridge details in the finite element models were assured by utilizing experimentally determined load-deformation characteristics for the connections. Results showed that significant improvements in the lateral load-deflection behavior of the bridge system could be obtained by implementing alternate connection schemes, and that concrete side-walls should be provided at girder ends.

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