Ice Forces on Bridge Piers

by F. Donald Haynes, US Army Cold Regions Research &, Engineering Lab, Hanover, NH, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Research on Transportation Facilities in Cold Regions


The force that river ice exerts on bridge piers has been studied in the field and with models in the laboratory. Ice forces are a function of the strength, thickness, failure mode and velocity of the ice, the ice-structure interaction and the geometry of the structure. Results of field measurements on the Yukon and Ottauquechee Rivers are discussed. Results of laboratory tests on vertical structures and sloping structures are presented. Ice failure in crushing, bending (both up and down) and splitting has been observed in the laboratory and the ice forces associated with each mode are presented. A discussion of the measured ice forces with regard to the existing design codes is given.

Subject Headings: Ice | Bridges | Piers | Rivers and streams | Failure modes | Failure analysis | Field tests | Ice loads

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