This paper presents the results of a parametric study that focused on the effects of bridge length and span variations on the maximum stress intensity (stress concentration) in the piles of horizontally-curved steel I-girder integral abutment bridges. Over 1,700 three-dimensional nonlinear finite element models with bridge lengths up to 365 m (1200 ft) were analyzed as part of this study. The results indicate that the stress concentration in the piles increases with increasing bridge length and reaches its maximum value at a certain bridge length. Beyond that bridge length, pile stress concentration decreases despite the fact that bridge length continues to increase. This represents a difference in behavior compared to straight integral abutment bridges where the pile stress concentration always increases with increasing bridge length. The study also indicates that curved integral abutment bridges of smaller radius have a larger pile stress intensity reduction due to increased number of spans compared to curved integral abutment bridges of larger radius.
Key words: Integral abutment bridges, curved bridges, finite element modeling, thermal loads.
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