Development of LRFD Procedures for Bridge Piles in Iowa – Volume IV: Design Guide and Track Examples

Project Details







Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Principal Investigator
Sri Sritharan

Faculty Affiliate

About the research

With the goal of producing engineered foundation designs with consistent levels of reliability as well as fulfilling the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) mandatethat all new bridges initiated after October 1, 2007 be designed according to the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) approach, the Iowa Highway Research Board (IHRB) sponsored three research projects on driven piles (TR-573, -583 and -584). The research outcomes are presented in three reports entitled Development of LRFD Design Procedures for Bridge Piles in Iowa, Volumes I, II, and III, and other research information is available on the project web site at

Upon incorporating the regional LRFD recommendations from the completed research into the Iowa DOT Bridge Design Manual (2010) as it is being rewritten under the new title of LRFD Bridge Design Manual (December 2011), and adopting the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (2010), this Volume IV for driven piles in Iowa was developed.

Following the layout of a design guide, the application of the LRFD approach is demonstrated using various pile design examples in three different tracks, which depend on the construction control method used for establishing the pile driving criteria. Piles are designed using the Iowa Blue Book method. The pile driving criteria are established using the Wave Equation Analysis Program (WEAP) in Track 1, the modified Iowa Engineering News Record (ENR) formula in Track 2, and the combination of WEAP and the Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) with a subsequent pile signal matching analysis using the CAse Pile Wave Analysis Program (CAPWAP) in Track 3.

The track examples cover various pile types, three different soil profiles (cohesive, non-cohesive, and mixed) and special design considerations (piles on rock, scouring, downdrag, and uplift).