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A steel suspended deck arch bridge over Torrente Gravina

A. De Luca, A. De Martino, F. Leccisi and G. Lucibello

Faculty of Engineering, University Federico II, Naples, Italy

F. Ricciardelli

Department of Informatics, Mathematic, Electronic and Transports, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy

G. Mautone and C. Briatico

Professional Engineers

V. Caputo, A. Medici and G. Napoli

Basilicata ANAS compartment (PZ)

ABSTRACT: The steel bridge over Torrente Gravina is part of the new road S.S. 655 Bradanica, in the province of Matera. The choice of a steel tied arch was made to couple an efficient static behaviour, with a simple shape which well harmonises with the surrounding landscape. This paper describes the main features of the bridge, its static behaviour and its erection procedure. The analyses performed on the FEM model of the bridge indicated a satisfactory behaviour, both in terms of deflection and torsion of the deck and in terms of stability of the arch. This proved the correct torsional deck behaviour provided by boxed-reticular-open section guaranteed by triangulated trusses realized every 300 cm with hangers spacing equal to 600 cm. 1 INTRODUCTION

The steel arch bridge presented in this paper is part of the Bradanica road-SS655. It spans over the Torrente Gravina in the beautiful landscape of Matera, worldly renowned for its white rocks (Fig.1-2). In order to correctly interface the structure to the environment, the Cultural Heritage Superindentant Authorities approved the suspended deck arch structural type, so to have minimum interaction with the white rocks of the torrente Gravina. Always to minimize the impact on soil and foundations the designers made the choice of a tied arch. The elevation and plan views of the bridge of the bridge are given in Fig.3. The arch of 145m is of the type adopted by Juan J. Arenas in the famous Barqueta bridge with two struts at entrance of the bridge. In this case the hangers are not in the plane of the central flying arch, but they connect the central arch to the outer parts of the cross section. The hangers spacing is 600cm.

Figure 1 : The white rocks at the Torrente Gravina

A. De Luca, A. De Martino, F. Leccisi, etc.


Figure 2 : Plan view on Torrente Gravina

The torsional stiffness of the deck is provided by a boxed- reticular-open section which behaviour is guaranteed by triangulated trusses realized every 300cm and longitudinally connected (Fig.4).





Figure 3 : Elevation and plan view


The bridge deck (Figs.3 and 4) is composed of three principal steel beams with a height H = 220cm. The deck structure is a spatial truss (trussed tube) with rigid cross sections capable to effectively resist the bending and torsion forces induced by eccentrically acting loads and the arch thrust. The slab is connected to the main steel girders only to carry the vertical live loads and to resist to thermal loads. In this way the great tension forces due to arch thrust, that could induce cracking in the concrete slab, are avoided.


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Figure 4 : The box-reticular -open structure

The deck is suspended to the arch by stays placed on both deck sides with a spacing equal to 600cm (Fig.3-5); in this way, on each deck side there are 19 stays whose skewness configures a fan form that converges ideally in a point placed above the arch. The stays are made of high strength steel wires with a triple galvanizing protection against corrosion; in detail, the cable is formed by an internal core of circular wires and by one or more external layers of Z shaped wires. As emerged from geotechnical investigations and tests, the foundation soil is a cracked limestone bedrock with good bearing properties; tubfix micro-piles are provided to consolidate the bedrock cracks.





Figure 5 : (a) Cross section at abutments, (b) Arch cross section and hangers

The choice of adopting tied arch implies no permanent horizontal actions on the foundations and consequently on the soil; moderate horizontal actions occur only with exceptional events as earthquake or strong lateral wind. The central girder rests on a fixed and a unidirectional sliding support; all the other support devices are multi directional sliding systems.

A. De Luca, A. De Martino, F. Leccisi, etc. 3 MODELING AND ANALYSIS


3.1 Preliminary Analysis Preliminary analysis has been carried out to investigate the arch-deck behaviour varying the hangers configuration. Three arrangmenst of the hangers have been studied: (1) Stays concentric to the outer of the arch; (2) Stays concentric to the inner of the arch; (3) Parallel stays. The three different configurations perform differently to live loads and dead loads, in fact some of them perform better to symmetrical loads (dead loads) while others are more sensitive to asymmetrical (live) loads. These effect are demonstrated in Fig.6a to c. In this figure bending moments are provided for deck and arch elements. It is immediate to observe that the stays arrangement can not be decided only on the basis of dead load behaviour. As can be observed from diagrams, the first stays arrangement, for asymmetrical loads, allows to achieve lower tension forces and bending moment in deck elements; the inverse behaviour occurs in case of symmetrical loads. In conclusion, from the point of view of global stresses, they are quite similar in the various arrangements somehow balancing the different behaviours.


5000 kNm


(c) Figure 6 : Arch and Deck bending moments in the different stays configurations

3.2 Modeling For the structural finite element model created with the FEM software SAP2000, shell elements have been used for the principal steel girders and the concrete slab; frame elements have been used to model the arch, the trusses and the suspenders. The analysis are carried out considering two models representing the two main construction phases: (1) For the first model, that corresponds to slab casting phase, only the steelwork and concrete slab self weight are considered and the concrete strength is ignored; so the only load combination considered is self weight; (2) For the second model are considered all the possible dead and live load acting after the bridge completion (the concrete slab acts as composite section with steel girders to carry live loads).The concrete strength, or better its stiffness, is considered taking account of an elasticity modulus chosen as the average of that for permanent and variable loads. The load conditions are consistant with 09/01/1996 Italian Code; in detail, for live loads, two conditions (shown in Fig.7-9) have been considered. They maximize bending and torsion at the abutments and at midspan of the arch. The load combinations employ two different values of dynamic amplification coefficients depending on the checks to be carried out; in particular, for checking the transversal trusses the


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value 1,4 has been employed; for checking the main structural members( arch, struts and deck girders) the value 1,0 has been employed. The wind loads have been calculated from the CNR DT 207/2008 code specifications in both conditions fully unloaded bridge and full loaded bridge. The seismic loads on the two main directions are estimated considering a seismic intensity coefficient equal to 0,04. Furthermore the structure coefficient is taken equal to: 1,0 for superstructure, 1,2 for the foundations and 2,5 for supports.

Figure 7 : Live loads transversal distribution

Figure 8 : Live loads symmetric longitudinal distribution

Figure 9 : Live loads asymmetric longitudinal distribution

3.3 Resistance checks The resistance checks have been carried out with the allowable stresses method referring to stress values obtained combining those deriving from the two FEM models analysis; the results allow to state that the deck behaviour is adequate as in bending as in torsion. The maximum computed stress in the longitudinal main girders is 230MPa in the region comprised between the supports and the first section of the deck with hanger suspension. The maximum tensile force in the hangers is 2620kN while the least is 770kN; the 72mm diameter cables employed have a 3530mm2 cross section with a maximum allowable tensile force of 2770kN.

A. De Luca, A. De Martino, F. Leccisi, etc. 3.4 Global stability


The stability check has been carried out through SAP2000; this FEM software computes the critic multipliers of a defined axial load that cause buckling and than defines the Euler critic load as the axial load multiplied the lower of these multipliers. The critical load for the 3D model (Fig.10) is q = 2.341,3kN/m (with a tension force(thrust) in the deck of 222.650kN). From the simplified expressions found in literature, considering a total inertia (sum of that of the arch and of the composite deck) has been calculated a critical thrust of 225.000kN. Considering a global vertical load on the deck q = 330kN/m the safety against buckling is:

Figure 10 : Simplified 3D model. First buckling mode deformed shape from SAP analysis


Incremental launching of the deck on temporary piers is foreseen as the methodology for the erection of the bridge (Fig.11).

Figure 11 : First construction phase: temporary piers erection

The first module (including all the deck steel members) is built with the launching nose ready for incremental launching. The phases of incremental launching are shown in Fig.12. The temporary piers are than built up to the arch profile to permit the arch erection with special cranes (Fig.13). After the arch completion the hangers are assembled and prestressed (Fig.14) to allow the temporary piers removal.


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Figure 12 : Second construction phase: first deck segmental launching

Figure 13 : Arch assembling

Figure 14 : Hangers placing

The scaffolding removal is followed placing the predalles and concrete casting. Transversal joints are foreseen to prevent shrinkage effects. The bridge is finally raised on support devices by jacks. 5 AKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank eng. Michele Franzese, head of ANAS compartment for Basilicata traffic.

A. De Luca, A. De Martino, F. Leccisi, etc. REFERENCES


Arenas J. and Pantaleon M., 1992. Barqueta Bridge, Sevilla, Spain, Structural Engineering International, 4/92, p.251252. CNR DT207/2008. Istruzioni per la valutazione delle azioni e degli effetti del vento sulle costruzioni. CNR UNI 10011:1988. Costruzioni di acciaio. Istruzioni per il calcolo, l' esecuzione, il collaudo e la manutenzione . Decreto Ministero Infrastrutture 14.01.2008. Norme tecniche per le costruzioni. Decreto Ministero LL.PP. 09.01.1996. Norme tecniche per il calcolo, lesecuzione ed il collaudo delle opere in cemento armato, normale e precompresso e per le strutture metalliche. De Luca A., De Martino A., Leccisi F., Ricciardelli F., Briatico C., Mautone G., Caputo V., Medici A. and Napoli G., 2009. Progetto di un ponte ad arco a struttura metallica sul torrente Gravina, XXII congresso C.T.A. Padova, 2830 settembre 2009, p.343-354. De Zotti A., Pellegrino, C. and Modena C., 2007. A parametric study of the hanger arrangement in arch bridges, Arch2007, 5th International Conference of Arch Bridge, Madeira, Portugal, 1214 September 2007, p.475 - 481. Outtier, A., De Backer, H. and Van Bogaert, Ph. 2007. Numerical approach to the lateral buckling of steel tied-arch. Arch2007, 5th International Conference of Arch Bridge, Madeira, Portugal, 1214 September 2007, p.483 - 490. Siviero E. and Saa D. 2008. De Pontibus, Milano. Viviani M., 2008. Il nuovo ponte sul fiume Serchio a Lucca, Costruzioni Metalliche, Anno LX, Luglio-Agosto, p.40-48.