Load Distribution Factors for Horizontally Curved Composite Concrete-Steel Girder Bridges


This paper focuses on Load distribution factors for horizontally curved composite concrete-steel girder bridges. The finite-element analysis software“SAP2000” is used to examine the key parameters that can influence the distribution factors for horizontally curved composite steel girders. A parametric study is conducted to study the load distribution characteristics of such bridge system due to dead loading and AASHTO truck loading using finite elements method. The key parameters considered in this study are: span-to-radius of curvature ratio, span length, number of girders, girders spacing, number of lanes, and truck loading conditions. The results have shown that the curvature is the most critical factor which plays an important role in the design of curved girders in horizontally curved composite bridges. Span length, number of girders and girder spacing generally affect the values of the moment distribution factors. Moreover, present study reveals that AASHTO Guide criterion to treat curved bridges with limited curvature as straight one is conservative. Based on the data generated from the parametric study, sets of empirical equations are developed for the moment distribution factors for straight and curved steel I-girder bridges when subjected to the AASHTO truck loading and due to dead loading.