Innovative Approaches to Bridge Pier Foundation Design

by Harold R. Sandberg, Alfred Benesch & Co, Chicago, IL, USA,
Kathryn A. Cox, Alfred Benesch & Co, Chicago, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Bridges and Transmission Line Structures


As a part of a Value Engineering change proposal the pier foundations for the US-31 bridge over the St. Joseph River and floodplain near Niles, Michigan were re-designed. The varying soil conditions warranted the use of both spread footings and concrete filled pipe pile footings in the flood plain. The use of 'voids' under selected areas of the spread footings allowed a more efficient use of the area and inertia of the base as compared with the typical distribution of bearing pressure on a spread footing. The use of variable spacings in the pile footings minimized the number of piles required and reduced the bending moments in the pile cap. The use of a reinforced tremied concrete seal coat as an integral part of the foundation for the river piers proved advantageous when compared to the original design concept, which used 6 ft. - 0 in. diameter drilled caissons.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Bridge foundations | Foundation design | Footings | Micro piles | Innovation | Piers | Drilled pier foundations | Michigan | United States

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