The Rigid Frame Arch Bridge Cultural Studies Essay

CEEA2347-Assignment 1B

Student:JIANTAO LIU Tel:412-980-7246

The rigid-frame arch bridge

The overview of rigid-frame arch bridge evolution

The rigid-frame arch bride is a evolution from

double-curved arch bridge ,truss abridges and

inclined-leg rigid frame arch.Arch bridge is a bridge

with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch.

It transferring the dead load of the bridge and its live

loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by

the abutments at both side.the oldest existing arch

bridge is the Mycenaean Arkadiko bridge in Greece

from about 1300 BC. The stone corbel arch bridge is

still used by the local people[1]

.The well-preserved

HellenisticEleutherna Bridge has a triangular

corbel arch. The 4th century BCRhodes Footbridge rests on an early voussoir arch.



bridge is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of a truss. This truss is a

structure of connected elements forming triangular units.The connected elements (typically

straight) may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes both in response to

dynamic loads. Truss bridges are one of the oldest types of modern bridges. The basic types of

trussbridges shown in this article have simple designs which could be easily analyzed by

nineteenth and early twentieth century engineers. A truss bridge is economical to construct

owing to its efficient use of materials. early truss

bridges would typically use carefully fitted

timbers for members taking compression and

iron rods for tension members, usually

constructed as a covered bridge to protect the

structure. In 1820 a simple form of truss, Town's

lattice truss, was patented, and had the advantage

of not requiring high labor skills nor much metal.

Few iron truss bridges were built in the United

States before 1850.Truss bridges became a

common type of bridge built from the 1870s

through the 1930s. Examples of these bridges still remain across the United States, but their

numbers are dropping rapidly, as they are demolished and replaced with new structures.

Rigid-frame arch bridge is a composite structure of arch bridge and inclined rigid-frame

bridge. Its main configuration is made up of arch ribs and structures above the arch ribs used

in the inclined rigid-frame bridge. Rigid-frame arch bridge was first built in Wuxi city as a

new light type bridge in China. Compared with other type bridges with the same span and

designing load standard, concrete and steel bars of rigid-frame arch bridge s superstructure

are less needed, and the desire for infrastructure and groundsill is lower.


Furthermore its

construction is convenient, because of less and light members. Its construction methods of are

TheAlcántara Bridge, Spain (built 103-106 AD)

Atypical truss bridge in South China 2012

’various; prefabricating building method or site casting method can be used. Many rigid-frame

arch bridges have been built in China since 1980. According to an incomplete statistical

observation, the accumulative total spans of rigid-frame arch bridges are more than 15

thousands kilometers.

The rigid-frame arch bridge has the

advantages of rigid-frame bridge,arch

bridge and truss bridge.The appearance of

rigid-frame arch bridge is simple and full

of moving beauty.It just look like a

running panther.In the view of Design

Bionics,the structure like stable feet of

human being,giving people a scene of


The superstructure of rigid-frame arch

bridge is made up of rigid-frame arches,

crossing beams, micro bending slabs,

projecting slabs and wearing surface. The

connection of chord, arch leg and solid

segment is called the big node, and the

connection of chord and inclined arch leg

is called the small node. Arch leg is usually

consolidated to the pier or abutment; inclined arch leg is usually consolidated or hinged to the

pier or abutment; chord is commonly supported by the wall of pier or abutment. The

configuration of rigid-frame arch bridge can be seen at Figure[4~6]

1. Arch leg; 2. Solid segment; 3. Chord; 4. Inclined arch leg; 5. Crossing beam; A. Bearing of arch leg B. Bignode; D. Small

node; E. Bearing of chord; F. Bearing of inclined arch leg.


The frame bridge thus has the advantage of saving of material in approaches, saving of

concrete for the abutments and saving of excavation tor the abutments. These economies are

not theoretical, but have been demonstrated by a number of bridge projects[8]

Aart work of rigid-frame arch bridge

General layout of rigid-frame arch bridge

The aesthetics and structural characteristic of rigid-frame arch bridge

;Typical rigid-frame truss arch bridge

The Chongqing Chaotianmen Yangtze River


General layout and main structural characteristics

Main truss members.

is Rigid-frame truss arch bridge,it is

located 1.2 km downstream Chaotianmen in

Chongqing, China. This bridge is an important

passage connecting the central urban business

regions on both banks of the Yangtze River.

Total length of the bridge is 1741m, of which the

932m main bridge is a (190+552+190) m

half-through steel tied arch truss structure; the

314m northern approach bridge and 495m

southern approach are all prestressed concrete

continuous girders. The bridge has double decks, of which the 36.5m upper deck has dual

three-lane and sidewalks on both side, and the lower carries two lines municipal light railways

and two lanes to either side[9]

.The main bridge is a three span

continuous steel tied arch truss structure with a span length of 190+552+190m and a width of

36.5m. The main truss with two pieces of truss is 29m wide. The end span is a steel truss of

variable height, and the middle span is a tied steel arch truss. The height between the arch top

and the middle support is 142m, the outline of the lower arch chord is a quadratic parabola

with 128m arch rise, and the rise-span ratio is 1/4.3125. The upper chord of arch is also a

quadratic parabola transiting to the circle curve of 700m radius on upper chord of end truss

span. The main truss adopts N shaped truss of variable height, the arch truss height is 14m

at mid-span, 73.13m at middle pier(stiffened chord of arch rib is 40.65m), and11.83m at end

pier. Due to the big difference of arch truss height, considering general arrangement and the

aesthetic factor, the truss panels have three lengths: 12m, 14m, and 16m.


All of the main truss members are welded box section. To adapt the

large inner force variety of the chord, the height and width of chord members section are

variable correspondingly; the section width has two types: 1200mm and 1600mm, with

section height varies between 1240mm and 1840mm. The members are spliced at four sides;

to make the splicing convenient, the members has uniform height and width at splicing joints.

For a member, the height and width don't vary at the same section.

General layout of Chaotianmen Bridge[6]

Chaotianmen Yangtze River Bridge

" "The Xinguang Bridge

Bearing System of the Main Bridge The conventional

, crossing the

Pearl River in the city of Guangzhou, is

a three-span continuous half-through

rigid frame steel truss arch bridge with

two RC V-shaped triangular rigid

frames . The bridge has a total length of

1083.2m. The main bridge has spans

with a length of 782m in an

arrangement of 177m+428m+177m.

The main bridge is 37.22m wide for six

traffic lanes and two side walks. When it was open to traffic in January 2007, the 428m of the

central span of the Xinguang Bridge is the 6th-longest arch span in the world and the

3rd-longest arch span in China. In the superstructure, steel Q345qC is used for primary

member, Q235C for secondary member for steel structure and Q345qE for joint plate for arch

rib. For concrete, C50 concrete is used for the superstructure, while C40 for pile caps and C30

for piles. Total of 100,000m3, 13,850 t structural steel and 14000 t steel of bar, wire and

strand are used in the bridge structure. And the construction temporary steel is 15,000 t.

Fly-bird-type arch bridge consists

a half-through center span and two side deck spans, and horizontal cables balancing the

horizontal thrust of the center arch span[12][14]

. The innovative structure of the main bridge in

Xinguang Bridge introduces the V-shaped triangular rigid frame as the connections between

the center span and side spans., one end of the side arch is fixed in the V-shaped triangular

rigid frame, while another end is supported on the side pier via a movable spherical steel

bearing capable of 200mm longitudinal displacement, which makes it possible to release the

thermal stresses with the help of deck expansion joint. Moreover, the chord members of arch

ribs of the main span are directly embedded in the triangular rigid frame, which can

significantly enhance the structural stiffness and makes it no need to install the expensive


Chaotianmen Yangtze River Bridge

Elevation of Xingguang Bridge (Unit: mm)


‘ ’Arch RibThe

Rigid Frame for the Main Pier

Brief description of construction procedure

arch ribs of the mid-span has a span of 428m (clear span length: 416m) and a

height of 104m, giving a rise to span ratio of 1/4. The arch axis is a catenary with an

coefficient of m=1.2. The center-to-center distance of the two steel arch ribs is 28.1m. Each of

these arch ribs has a depth varying from 7.50m at the crown to 12.0m at the spring. The top

and bottom chords with rectangular box girder cross-sections have thicknesses of 30mm and

50mm for steel webs and thicknesses of 32mm, 40mm, 50mm for the top and bottom plates

of the girder. The steel arch ribs of the side span with a span of 177m (clear span length:

171m) and a height of 56m follow a 3-order parabola with a depth varying from 7.50m at the

crown to 12.0m at the spring. The steel box girders of the cross section have thicknesses of

24mm, 32mm and 36mm for steel webs and thicknesses of 30mm, 36mm, and 40mm for the

top and bottom plates of the girder, respectively. The integrated joint connection technique is

employed to fabricate the steel arch ribs.


The chords of the arch ribs, as welded and bolted

members, are connected in the joint position via an integrated joint plate which is formed by

changing the height and thickness of the steel webs. The longitudinal ribs inside the steel box

girder and cross section of arch chord are connected using high-strength bolts and field

welding, respectively, while the braces are connected to the chords via high-strength bolts.

The V-shaped triangular rigid frame as the connections

between the center span and side spans provide large stiffness, good seismic performance, and

better resistance capability against possible ship collision. In addition, the rigid frame

provides its capabilities in resisting the moment imbalance in construction, which simplified

the construction procedures and decreased the live load influences between side span and

main span. The tied beam of the triangular rigid frame is a PC solid L cross-sectional structure

with a width of 5600mm and a height of 3000mm.


34 post-tensioned, injected tendons

are installed into the tied beam of the frame, and each tendon consists of 31-7 5mm strands.

Valuable experience is obtained in critical construction techniques for offshore segment

assembly, shipping, and integral hydraulic lifting of the assembled arch rib segments of long

span bridge.With integral hydraulic lifting technique we can reduce a lot of works high in sky

and significantly improve the construction condition and safety, since the traditional erection

method of arch bridge using highline and a temporary cable-stayed system with the temporary

Elevation of Triangular Rigid Frame[7]

φpylons located above the bridge deck can not avoide a lot of work high in sky in the assembly

of arch ribs. Navigation of Pearl River was only closed for 56 hours during the closure of the

arch ribs of main span.


A record was created for vertical lifting of arch ribs in construcion

of arch bridge. Consequently, the Xinguang Bridge project will surely bring the Chinese

construction of long-span arch bridges to a new level.

(L) Side span lifting (R) Side segment of Central span

(L) Going aboard and floating transport (R) Lifting center segment.REFERENCES

[1] Hellenic Ministry of Culture: Mycenaean bridge at Kazarma

[2]Nakassis, Athanassios (2000): "The Bridges of Ancient Eleutherna", The Annual of

theBritishSchool at Athens, Vol. 95, pp. 353 365



[4]Fanhua Wen 'Arch Crown Force Analysis of Rigid Frame Arch during Reinforce ment


[5] Gu An-bang, Sun Guo-zhu. 2001. Design manual of highway bridge and culvert:arch

bridge[M].Beijing: China Communications Press.

[6] Lu Peng-zhen, Zhou Yan-yong, Shi Wen-wei. 2005. Harm analysis and countermeasures

on rigid-frame bridge [J].Journal of guang dong communications polytechnic. 4(1):23-26

[7] Liu Yun-chuan, Liu Jian-min, Wang Zhi-hui. 2006. Characteristics and control measures

of rigid-frame arch bridge diseases [J].Journal of shangdong jiaotong university. 14(2):26-28

[8]The rigid-frame bridge. .Hayden, Arthur Gunderson, 1878-

[9]Wue-wei Duan: Design Of Main Bridge Of Chaotianmen Yangtze River Bridge,2nd

Design Department, BRDI 2008

[10] Shan Cheng-lin. 2004. Discussion on design deficiencies of local members of

rigid-frame arch bridges from distresses [J].Central south highway engineering. 29(4):87-88

[11]Yue LI*, Jianfeng ZHANG*, Ping HUANG* & Banfu YAN:Design and Construction of a

Rigid-Frame Steel Truss Arch Bridge,Guangzhou Xinguang Expressway Ltd. Co. Guangzhou,


[12] Yuan Tong-sen, Fang Zhi, Hu Bai-xue at el. 2005. Diagnosis and reinforcement of typical

distresses of rigid-frame arch bridge [J]. Central south highway engineering. 30(3):152-156

[13] Chen Yu-xin, Wang Yu-quan, Xu Tian-yu at el. 2003. Deseases analysis and reinforcing

design of reinforced concreter rigid-frame arch bridge [J]. Northeastern Highway. 26(3):90-93

[14]Bao-chun Chen, Jing Gao, Huai-ying Zheng, 2006, Studies on Behaviors of CFST

Fly-bird-type Arch Bridge, Proceedings of the International Conference on Bridges,

[15] Shan Cheng-lin. 2004. Discussion on design deficiencies of local members of

rigid-frame arch bridges from distresses [J].Central south highway engineering. 29(4):87-88

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