Effects of Replacing Cross Frames with Diaphragms on Curved Bridge Construction Response

Open Access
Ashour, Omar
Area of Honors:
Civil Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Daniel Linzell, Thesis Supervisor
  • Daniel G Linzell, Thesis Supervisor
  • Eric Todd Donnell, Honors Advisor
  • Cross frames
  • Diaphragms
  • Curved
  • Bridges
  • Construction
The construction of horizontally curved steel I-girder bridges has historically been a challenge for designers and contractors. Unpredicted and excessive displacements in curved girders are examples of some problems that might arise during their construction. This study utilized a series of finite element models of representative horizontally curved steel I-girder bridges with cross frame members and altered those bridges by replacing cross frame members with diaphragms at various locations including abutments, piers, midspan, and splice locations to examine their effects on construction response. The study examined the influence of diaphragms when compared to cross frames by comparing stresses, deformations, and rotations during construction at different locations in the bridges. Diaphragms caused a slight increase in vertical deflections due to its added weight but reduced radial deformations by an average of 17%. Diaphragms were observed to have insignificant effects on local and global stress behavior and trends in girders during the construction of horizontally curved I-girder bridges when compared to cross frames.