Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This study presents the behavior of a precast skewed integral abutment bridge (IAB) using the recently developed NEXT-F Beam section in particular. In order to understand the bridge response, a 3-dimensional finite element model of a bridge (Brimfield Bridge) was developed to examine the thermal effect on the response of the bridge structural components. Eighteen months of field monitoring including abutments displacements, abutment rotations, deck strains, and beam strains was conducted utilizing 136 strain gauges, 6 crackmeters, and 2 tiltmeters. The behavior of the NEXT beams during construction was examined by conducting hand calculation considering all factors that could affect strain readings captured by strain gauges embedded in the 6 beams. Parametric analysis and model validation were conducted considering the effect of soil conditions, distribution of thermal loads, and the coefficient of thermal expansion used for the analyses. Using the validated model, the effect pile orientation was investigated. All the results and illustration plots are presented in detail in this study. As a result of this study, the behavior of the NEXT beams during construction was explained. Long term behavior of the bridge was also explained using field data and FE model. Furthermore, it was concluded that the coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete and temperature variation along the bridge depth and transverse direction can have a significant effect on the strain readings and calculated response, respectively. Lastly, it was found that orienting piles with their web perpendicular on the bridge centerline or with their web perpendicular to the abutment centerline will result in small ratio of moment demand to moment capacity.

First Advisor

Sergio F Breña

Second Advisor

Scott A. Civjan