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Access Type

Campus Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



integral bridges, curved bridges, finite element modeling, soil-structure interaction, parametric studies, thermal loads


Deformation of bridges that are induced by thermal loads can be accommodated by expansion joints and bearings. Integral Abutment Bridges have gained acceptance as a way to mitigate potential damage from thermal movements, eliminating the poor performance and maintenance costs associated with expansion joints and bearings. However, integral abutments significantly change the structural response of the bridges. Several researches including real time field monitoring and finite element analyses have been conducted on straight and skewed integral abutment bridges in order to improve an understanding on field performance of them. Some state transportation agencies have also developed guidelines for the design of straight and skewed integral abutment bridges in recent years. In contrast, very little information is available on the performance of curved integral abutment bridges.

A detailed finite element model of Stockbridge Bridge, VT is used to evaluate the behavior of curved integral abutment bridges under self-weight and thermal loading. In addition, a parametric study is carried out to investigate the effects of bridge curvature and abutment backfill soil type. Finally, six additional finite element models are created to compare the responses of jointed (conventional) bridges and integral abutment bridges. Results reported include abutment displacements, rotations, moments in abutment piles, earth pressures and bridge superstructure moments. Suggestions for improvement of analytical modeling and recommendations for design of curved integral abutment bridges are made.


First Advisor

Sergio F Breña