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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Field Monitoring of Curved Girder Bridges with Integral Abutments

Project involves all of the bridges at the I-80/I-235/I-35 interchange in Des Moines, Iowa


Principal investigators:

Project status


Start date: 06/01/08
End date: 01/01/14


Report: Field Monitoring of Curved Girder Bridges with Integral Abutments (15.24 mb pdf) January 2014

Related publications:



About the research


Nationally, there is concern regarding the design, fabrication, and erection of horizontally-curved steel girder bridges due to unpredicted girder displacements, fit-up, and locked-in stresses. One reason for the concerns is that up to one-quarter of steel girder bridges are being designed with horizontal curvature. The concerns are significant enough that a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research problem statement was developed and given high priority for funding.

It is also noted that an urgent need exists to reduce bridge maintenance costs by eliminating or reducing deck joints. This can be achieved by expanding the use of integral abutments to include curved girder bridges.

The long-term objective of this effort is to establish guidelines for the use of integral abutments with curved girder bridges. The primary objective of this work was to monitor and evaluate the behavior of six in-service, horizontally-curved, steel-girder bridges with integral and semi-integral abutments. In addition, the influence and behavior of fixed and expansion piers were considered.