Structural Concrete, Vol. 8, no. 3, September 2007
The use of prestressed concrete piles to support integral abutments
E.G. Burdette, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
S.C. Howard, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
J.H. Deatherage, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
D.W. Goodpasture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in the United States has become the national leader in the design and construction of jointless bridges with abutments which are integral with the bridge deck. While TDOT criteria call for limits of length of 152 m (500 ft) and 244 m (800 ft) for steel and concrete bridges, respectively, they have on more than one occasion exceeded these limits significantly. TDOT's desire to address any questions raised about the efficacy of using prestressed concrete piles to support integral abutments and perhaps to extend the limits on bridge length led to the tests reported in this paper. Four full-size abutments, 3.05 m (10 ft) wide, were built and tested in the field. The description and results of these tests are reported and discussed. Of particular interest are the testing of one pile to failure and the cyclic tests performed on one pile. The conclusions drawn were, first, that prestressed concrete piles are appropriate to use to support integral abutments and, second, that the TDOT criteria for bridge lengths are reasonable and conservative.