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Bridge Engineering

What are the effects of bridge piers across a stream?

The presence of bridge piers across a stream causes constricted flow in the openings because of the decrease of width of stream owing to the presence of the piers. Moreover, it creates the following problems from hydraulic point of view:

(i) Local scouring at the piers and bed erosion may take place. To avoid the damage to the foundation of piers, some protective layers of stone or concrete apron could be provided around the piers.

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In bridge columns, why are stirrups be placed around the vertical reinforcement?

In uniaxial compression test of concrete, upon reaching the ultimate load failure of concrete occurs where major cracks line up in the vertical direction and the concrete cube would be split up. The development of vertical cracks involves the expansion of concrete in lateral directions. In case the concrete is confined in lateral directions, it was observed that the formation of vertical cracks would be hindered as indicated in past experiments. As a result, the concrete strength is increased with also a rise in failure strain.

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What is the purpose of providing a barrier around the bridge piers?

Accidental collision of heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailer with bridge piers is not uncommon around the world. The consequence of such collision is catastrophic which may involve the collapse of bridges and loss of human lives. As such, suitable provisions are made to protect bridge piers against these accidental collisions.

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What are the purposes of waterproofing in bridge decks?

Waterproofing materials like membranes are applied on top of bridge deck surface because:

(i) Vehicular traffic (e.g. tanker) may carry dangerous chemicals and the leakage of such chemicals in the absence of waterproofing materials may endanger the life of bridges. The chemicals easily penetrate and cause the deterioration of concrete bridge decks.

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What is the purpose of overlays on concrete bridge deck?

After years of servicing, some overlays may be applied on the top surface of bridges. Overlays on concrete bridge decks achieve the following purposes:

(i) It aims to provide a smooth riding surface. Hence, it may be applied during the maintenance operation to hide the uneven and spalling deck surface and offers a smoother surface for road users.

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