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In The Name Of

Faculty Of
.Civil Eng . Dept
(Report No ( 1

.Overview- 1
?.How do the abutments support an arch bridge- 2
.Stone Arch Bridge- 3
.Concrete Arch Bridge- 4
.Precast Concrete Construction- 5
.Skew Arch Bridge- 9
.THE END- 10
Arch Bridge
Arch bridges are one of the oldest types of
bridges and have great natural strength.
Instead of pushing straight down, the
weight of an arch bridge is carried outward
along the curve of the arch to the supports
at each end. These supports, called the
abutments, carry the load and keep the
. ends of the bridge from spreading out
The Romans developed considerable skill in
constructing arches and many of their structures remain
intact today. However, they were not able to calculate
the strength of their-arches although their knowledge of
geometry inherited from the Greeks led them to adopt
semicircular spans. Their arches were constructed
of stone made into the form of wedge shaped
segments, or voussoirs, built up side by side
on temporary timber supports until the top
piece at the crown of the arch is pushed
hom(keystone). One of the most famous
examples of their handiwork is the Pont du
Gard aqueduct near Nîmes, France. Built
before the birth of Christ, the bridge is held
together by mortar only in its top tier; the
stones in the rest of the structure stay
together by the sheer force of their own
Modem arch bridges are built of concrete.
It is an effective way to transfer loads to
the ground where foundation conditions
are adequate to resist horizontal loads. A
large nurnber of concrete arch bridges
have been constructed in the 20th
century in both in-situ reinforced
. concrete and precast concrete
Today materials like steel and pre-stressed
concrete have made it possible to build
longer and more elegant arches, including
a spectacular 1700 foot span in New River
Gorge, West Virginia. (More typically,
modern arch bridges span between 200-
.(800 feet
A prime consideration in the erection of
an arch bridge is the method of
supporting the voussoirs during
construction. The cost of staging
required to support the arch centering
during the placing of the voussoirs
represents a substantial proportion of
the cost of construction. Their design
and construction therefore requires
. detail investigation
How do the abutments support an
?arch bridge
Cut a strip of cardboard that's about one
inch by 11 inches. Gently bend the strip
so that it has a curve. Position the
cardboard on a table so that it resembles
an arch. Press down on the center of the
arch. What happens to the ends of the
Next, place a stack of books at each end
of the arch. Press again. Now what
happens? Notice how the stacks of
books act as abutments, keeping the
.ends of the arch from spreading apart
When supporting its own weight and
the weight of crossing traffic, every
part of the arch is under compression.
For this reason, arch bridges must be
made of materials that are strong
. under compression
Stone arch bridge
Concrete arch bridge

Constructing an arch bridge can be

tricky, since the structure is completely
unstable until the two spans meet in
the middle. The method of construction
of precast concrete arches is similar to
the method of construction used during
.the Roman period
Wedge shaped precast concrete segments
are used as voussoirs and these are built
up side by side on temporary supports.
There are two basic methods of
providing the temporary support system:
the provision of a supporting system
below the bridge and the use of a tower
and stay system. Gladesville Bridge in
Sidney, Australia was constructed using
. hollow precast concrete segments
They were placed on falsework
supported from the ground. The
false work was designed to
accommodate a 80-foot 200-foot
navigation channel. A diagrammatic
representation of the construction of
an arch using a tower and a stay
.system is shown in the figure below
Precast Concrete Construction
The most common form of precast
concrete bridge construction is with the
use of the conventional precast bridge
beams. Different types of precast
concrete decks and their structural
advantages have been dealt with other
speakers on this course. The
construction of these types does not in
general require special techniques.
Their construction will therefore not be
Precast segmental construction is widely
used for the construction of long bridges
and viaducts with medium to long spans.
In this form of construction, segments
are manufactured in a casting yard near
the site and then transported to their
final position for assembly. During the
early stages of development of segmental
precast construction, the joints between
the segments were wet poured grout or
.dry mortar pack
These type of joints enabled the
segments to be adjusted ensure that
the bridge follows the correct
alignment. Modem segmental
construction uses the match casting
technique. In this method the
segments are cast against each other
in the same relative order they will
have in the final structure. No
adjustment is therefore necessary
between the segments at assembly.
The joints are either left dry or
.skimmed with a layer of epoxy resin
!!Remember That
Arch bridges are one of the oldest types of
bridges and have been arounded for
thousands of years. Arch bridges have
.great natural strength
They were originally built of stone or brick
but these days are built of reinforced
concrete or steel. The introduction of these
new materials allow arch bridges to be
. longer with lower spans
Instead of pushing straight down, the
load of an arch bridge is carried
outward along the curve of the arch to
the supports at each end. The weight
is transferred to the supports at either
These supports, called the abutments,
carry the load and keep the ends of the
.bridge from spreading out
The load at the top of the key stone
makes each stone on the arch of the
bridge press on the one next to it. This
happens until the push is applied to
the end supports or abutments which
.are enbedded in the ground
The ground around the abutments is
squeezed and pushes back on the
The Arch Bridge is very common.
They were built with stone before
iron and steel bridges were
introduced. A good example is seen
in the picture below. The Romans
used arch bridges throughout
Europe and many of them are still
standing today as they are very
. strong
The keystone is the most important
stone in an arch bridge, without
this stone the arch would collapse.
The keystone holds the arch
. together
Draw a stone arch and label the
keystone. Explain why the
.Keystone is very important
Before an arch can be built a wooden
frame is built. This allows the stones
to be put in position. The frame is
removed after the stones are in
Skew Arch Bridge