Design of Bridge Piers Against Ship Collision

by Zolan Prucz, Modjeski & Masters, New Orleans, LA, USA,
William B. Conway, Modjeski & Masters, New Orleans, LA, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Bridges and Transmission Line Structures

Abstract: Design rules for unprotected bridge piers, using uniform safety requirements, are proposed. The selection of an appropriate design vessel is based on a risk assessment model which uses as parameters factors related to the bridge siting and geometry, waterway characteristics and expected vessel traffic characteristics. A simplified procedure, based on a lumped mass approach, is proposed to estimate the response of a pier impacted by a design vessel. It considers both factors related to the vessel (size, displacement, strength, crushing behavior and speed) and factors related to the impacted pier (geometry, mass and deformation characteristics). This procedure is used to develop design charts which propose equivalent static loads as a function of the design vessel selected and the water depth at the location of the pier considered. Uniformly distributed surface loads for verifying the local strength of a pier and its structural members are also recommended.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Piers | Ships | Ship collisions | Load factors | Traffic models | Bridge tests | Geometrics

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