REPAIR AND STRENGTHENING OF HISTORICAL CONCRETE BRIDGE OVER VENTA RIVER IN LATVIA

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1 1 REPAIR AND STRENGTHENING OF HISTORICAL CONCRETE BRIDGE OVER VENTA RIVER IN LATVIA Verners Straupe, M.sc.eng., Rudolfs Gruberts, dipl. eng. JS Celuprojekts, Murjanu St. 7a, Riga, LV 1024, Latvia Bridge History The bridge over the Venta River described in this report is located on the road Ezere Embute Grobina, near the Nigrande village. The design was made in 1934 and realized in The river was crossed by 2 wooden trusses L = 34m with 10.5 m long end spans (reinforced concrete frames on the shores). The total length of the bridge was 87.8 m. Because of the high level of spring water and floating ice, wooden trusses were supported on a massive pier in the middle of the river. girders were supported on steel roller bearings, positioned on a common support with reinforced concrete end spans. Figure 2. In rebuilt bridge. Photo is taken in winter 2007 A temporary bridge is located next to the old one during repair Results of the technical survey Figure 1. Wooden truss bridge over Venta River near Nigrande built in 1937 Life of this bridge was short. At the end of World War II German army burned the bridge to prevent the Red Army s attack. End spans were heavily damaged as well. After the war a ferry was used to cross the river. The bridge reconstruction design was made by docents Z.Meness and I.Melderis of Riga Technical University in The design provided the replacement of the burnt wooden trusses with 2.5m deep reinforced concrete beams and reconstruction of the middle pier. For the main spans so-called Gerber system (main beam with a cantilever which supports the hang-on girder) was used. In comparison with a continuous girder such a technical solution for a static determinable system simplifies bridge design and calculations. 3 beams were placed in the crosssection. The total length of the girder = 69.8 m is composed of two parts: cantilevered girder L = 40.7 m and the hang-on girder L = 29.1 m (see pic. 3). A 6.0 m wide roadway and two 0.6 m wide sidewalks were made. The central pier was rebuilt so that three fixed steel bearings could be placed on it. The ends of the main Since the reconstruction i.e. more than 50 years ago no major repairs were carried out. The only repairs during this period were the reconstruction of the roadway pavement and railings. In 1995 company Inzenierbuve made the first serious survey of the bridge. The structure was loaded with static and dynamic moving load and the bearing capacity was evaluated according to the former Soviet Union's codes. It was found that: load bearing capacity of slabs of end spans is insufficient; area of the hinge and hanged-on girder significantly responses to the dynamic effect; it is impossible to access the hinge in order to assess its condition; ends of the main girders are firmly constrained to end spans structure therefore the movement of the bearings caused by temperature is difficult; a number of defects caused by deterioration were identified, such as the vertical cracks in concrete beams. The analysis of the survey report recommended to do repair works of end spans and to narrow roadway in order to reduce stresses in edge girders. However, due to the lack of funds, these works were not performed. A next survey of the bridge was made in 2003 by company "Celuprojekts". But this time engineers had a different task to assess the possibility of strengthening the bridge

2 2 according to European codes. The customer s (VAS "Latvian State Roads") requirement was also to increase the width of the roadway and to separate the sidewalks from the roadway. During the survey the following tasks were performed: detailed survey of concrete cracks; core samples of main concrete structures were taken and tested; the depth of concrete s carbonization was measured; geotechnical research was made; surveying and levelling of construction was made. The results showed that damages have developed since the previous survey. Typical load cracks were found, for example, cracks created by shear forces in reinforced concrete beams in areas where the thickness of girders changes from 60 cm to 25 cm. In the middle of both spans and in the area of the middle pier vertical cracks were found, which indicate the lack of load bearing capacity. The width of an average crack was mm, but the maximum was even 1.2 mm. In some areas the concrete cover has fallen off as well as the main reinforcement rods were exposed and corroded. In general, it was found, that the hang-on girder is in a relatively better condition (cracks do not exceed mm) in comparison with cantilevered girder. Moreover, end spans should be rebuilt, because the structure is badly cracked. Horizontal cracks were found in the upper part of the 2.5 m high girders originated by concreting of spans in two steps: beams and then carriageway slab. In addition, several cracks were found above the middle pier that were continuing through the slab. Comparison of bridge reconstruction options Initially the designer considered three options for strengthening of the bridge: 1) to establish a cable system with a pylon on the middle pier; 2) to strengthen the concrete beams by gluing of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips on the bottom of girders; 3) creating a Sprengel framework using concrete unbonded pre-stressed external tendons. The first option was discarded as a technically extremely complicated one. The other two options offered fundamentally different concepts to improve the situation. CFRP strips glued below the beams increase the load-bearing capacity of the cross-section by operating as an additional reinforcement level. Whereas installation of unbonded prestressed steel wire reinforcement at the same time reduces the maximum bending moment by lifting up the middle areas of the span as well as increases the cross-section bearing capacity due to the compressive forces, which are added at anchorage points. The designer s task was to find out which of these concepts are technically and economically most effective ones. The initial assessment of the bridge load bearing capacity showed that it is impossible to strengthen constructions properly to carry full value of Eurocode s variable loads. Therefore it has been agreed with the customer that ratio α Q1 = 0.8 for variable loads will be used. A hinge of the Gerber system bridge is located so that the negative moment is less than the one of the continuous (static undetermineted) beam. In fact, the deadweight load causes equal absolute values of positive and negative moments. Therefore, it appeared that the lack of the resistance in the middle pier area (negative moments) can be compensated relatively easily by thickening the concrete slab. This slab was also needed to create a wider roadway. The new slab has variable thickness because of the road deck s new longitudinal profile. Bored steel anchors made it possible effectively join cross-section together. The new concrete slab also helps in the positive moment areas as a strengthening of the compressive area. The mission of the strengthening design was to improve the situation with the positive moments as well. In this respect lack of resistance according to Eurocodes was significant. The laboratory tests of concrete cores showed good indicators of strength (fck = 35 MPa, which corresponds to a concrete class C30/37), however, bending moment capacity knm in side girders was by far not enough. The bending moment in side girders for Ultimate Limit State (ULS) was calculated: for the cantilevered girder knm (159% of the resistance); for the hang-on girder knm (138% of the resistance). The condition of the middle girder was better. Figure 3. Longitudinal section of the bridge after strengthening

3 3 Further calculations showed that required ULS resistance for cantilevered beam can be achieved by gluing of 10 CFRP strips with cross-section 90 x 1.4 mm each. That means gluing CFRP strips on 60 cm wide bottom of girders at least in two layers. However, as the main disadvantage of such a solution is that a considerable strain effect in CFRP strips occurs only at a relatively high deformation. Because of this reason, it appeared that by the carbon strips Service Limit State (SLS) requirements cannot be met. A solution might be the post-tensioning of CFRP strips. But in this case, the anchorage of strip ends must be placed in the areas, which are extensively reinforced (hard to place bored anchors) and where the concrete cover is in a poor condition. As a result, a sufficient amount of anchors could not be placed. The calculations showed that strengthening method with external pre-stressed reinforcement satisfies more effectively both ULS and SLS requirements. The anchors of these tendons were placed in the centre of gravity of the cross-section, but deviators were located in the middle area of the spans slightly below the bottom, thus creating Sprengel framework system. New diaphragms should be made to create deviation points for cantilevered girder and anchor points for the hang-on girder. The existing diaphragms, which provide anchoring or deviation, were strengthened by placing additional reinforcement and steel plates. Technical Solutions. Designing procedure When the decision about using pre-stressed steel tendons was made, the layout of the anchor and deviation points should be found. In these points strong steel shear-girders were placed to distribute huge pre-stressing forces in the cross-section more equal. Existing concrete diaphragms had to be strengthened by adding bored steel rebars and an additional concrete layer. In some places it was necessary to install post-tensioned steel bars in transverse direction throughout all three main girders. Concrete for strengthening of shearbeams was filled through bored holes in the roadway plate. The application of the carbon fibre wrap was found effective enough for strengthening the areas with critical shear forces. Ends and bending areas of the wrap were additionally anchored with steel components. It should be noted that the shear-force load-bearing capacity was reduced by an empirical factor of 0.8 because of significant amount of cracks in concrete girders. Calculations showed that 0.12 mm thick CFRP wrap installed in two layers gives an additional shear force resistance of 330 kn. The reconstruction design also provided injecting of cracks with epoxy mortar and restoration of concrete cover by shotcreting. Necessary pre-stressing forces in reinforcement steel wires (nominal tensile strength 1860MPa): Table No. 1 Span A, mm 2 n P, kn Cantilevered girder Hang-on girder A cross-section area of the tendon; n number of tendons (for full cross-section of the bridge); P pre-stressing force of one tendon. As mentioned before, unbonded pre-stressed tendons are effective in two ways: maximum positive ULS bending moments reduce because of vertical forces in deviation points: knm in cantilevered beam (reduction of 28%); knm in hang-on beam (reduction of 21%); ULS bending moment capacity increases because of compressive forces to the ends of beams: knm in cantilevered beam (increase of 25%); knm in hang-on beam (increase of 25%). The additional compressive force is also a powerful means against crack openings etc. SLS requirements. It must be admitted that installation of external prestressed tendons is technically more complex than adding CFRP strips, however, economically it has advantages due to the costs of materials. The above mentioned results are obtained from the finite element method (FEM) 3D calculations software LIRA. Figure 4. Cross-section of the bridge after reconstruction During the design procedure the option of joining the hinge was also considered. However, it was recognized that the creation of a continuous beam in this case is undesirable because of resulting positive and negative bending moments (hence, alternating tensile and compressive stresses) in the areas which are designed for one sign bending moment. In addition, the system would function as a continuous beam only from variable loads. However, it was decided not to interrupt the new roadway plate over the hinge. This solution was also necessary because there wasn t clarity about the condition of the hinge. It was feared that after the pull-down of the end spans horizontal displacements at the hinge could occur. The new concrete slab in a 1.0 m zone on both sides from the hinge was separated from the old concrete with a flexible liner. Calculations showed that it is enough to guaranty a free turning in the hinge and not to affect the static system. At the same time new concrete slab is thin enough and can deform without occurring of unacceptable cracks. The vertical gap of the hinge was filled with the sealing.

4 4 In comparison with the former Soviet codes, the Eurocodes provide much bigger vehicle braking force. Considering the height of the middle pier, moments at the foot level significantly increased. This effect gets more dangerous in combination with the fact that up to now the ends of the bridge girders were firmly supported horizontally against end spans. After the project was realized, this defect was corrected, but horizontal force on the middle pier has increased. end spans as well as the crack injection. At the same time the anchor and deviation points for external tendons were created. A new concrete slab between the two feet of the middle pier was made, thus increasing its base dimension in the transverse direction of the river. Concreting works were carried out under the water level of the river. Designers didn t have reliable data about the base structure of the middle pier. Remaining documentation from reconstruction design showed that it was based on natural foundation, but during construction works wooden piles could be found as well. Perhaps, the reason of such changes in the design were made because of underground water sources beneath the base of the pier. Since the customer has accepted modifications of both end spans, it was possible to change their architectural appearance. New end spans were created as threedimensional concrete frames with a variable height of the facade wall. This solution allowed the use of old supports and allowed to hide anchors of tendons used for strengthening of the main spans. Two additional 15 m deep bored piles 88cm were created. At the ends of the bridge structure new transition plates in junction with fill were made. In order to reduce the self-weight of the new concrete plate, it was decided to build sidewalks from grided steel plates. This construction is convenient for installation and maintenance. One of the most complex feature in the designing process was to plan a proper sequence of repair works in order to engage together at the right moment the main components of the system i.e. pre-stressed tendons, the new roadway plate and CFRP wrap. The optimum was found to make the tensioning of pre-stressed tendons in two steps initially up to 60% but 100% after the construction of the roadway plate. Reconstruction works The design for the reconstruction of the bridge was completed in the year 2004, but its realization happened in It should be noted that in this short time (in comparison with the total age of the bridge) the amount of cracks had increased significantly. The construction works were completed in December 2007 and were performed by company JS Latvijas tilti. Since the reconstruction works could not be carried out without closing the traffic, the works started with the installation of a temporary bridge next to the existing one. The first step of the reconstruction was the demolition of the roadway pavement cantilevers of the damaged slab and Figure 5. Pre-stressed tendons of cantilevered girder: the active anchors at the end of span (top picture), dead anchors of the middle support (middle picture) and deviation point (bottom picture) The next work according the schedule was gluing of CFRP wrap around the beams in the areas where the shear-force carrying capacity was not enough. After that tendons were mounted and pre-stressed up to 60% of the full force. Tendons with a rectangular cross-section with four ropes placed in one line from Company "Vorspanntechnik" were used. To obtain the necessary cross-section area two tendons were placed together, one above another. It was the first time when tendons of this type were used in Latvia. This is a successful solution for unbonded prestressed reinforcement because vertical forces at deviation points transfer more smoothly than if round-shaped tendons were used. Further reconstruction work provided concreting of the roadway slab, which was carried out in 3 steps, starting from the middle of the bridge and continuing in direction to the

5 5 shores. The final tensioning could be carried out only when the full working cross-section was completed. During pre-stressing vertical deformations of the system were controlled in representative points e.g. the middle of the cantilevered girder, the hinge and the middle of the hanged-on girder. A small torsion on the hinge was recognized, but in general, vertical displacements were well consistent with theoretical estimation. Results and conclusions: The main improvements after the reconstruction of the bridge: 1) life of the bridge has been extended by additional 40 to 50 years; 2) bridge is strengthened according to European codes with a ratio for moving loads α Q1 = 0.8; 3) the roadway is widened from 6.0m to 7.5m; 4) traffic and pedestrian safety is improved by installation of crash barriers according to safety class H2; 5) hinge is protected from water by creation of a monolithic slab over it. External reinforcement appears to be a powerful tool to prevent a number of defects characteristic of old bridges: to eliminate maximum bending moments (ULS) due to vertical forces in deviation points of tendons; to reduce amount of cracks in concrete beams (SLS) due to compressive force in anchor points of tendons; reduced sensitivity of the system to the dynamic effects. Figure 6. Construction of reinforced slab under the middle pier The final step in the reconstruction of the main spans was forming the roadway pavement, the installation of steel sidewalks and installation of crash barriers and railings. To make a new reinforced concrete slab under middle pier it was necessary to build a sheet piling wall around the pier and to pump out the water. The foot of the middle pier was located approximately 4 m below summer water level. The underwater concrete was used. After concreting the sheet piles were pulled out and the new base slab was covered with stones. Creating a Sprengel framework system using external prestressed tendons is a powerful tool for strengthening bridges when the height of the girders is big enough to create the optimal geometry of the tendons as well as if there is a possibility to create the appropriate anchor and deviation nodes. Particular attention must be paid to construction stages and the performance quality of nodes where loads are applied. Figure 8. Reconstructed bridge over Venta River Figure 7. Unbonded pre-stressed tendons in cantilevered span Reconstruction of end spans could be carried out separately from the strengthening work steps of the main span. At the same time monolithic transition slabs were made as well as cones, water gutters and stairs at the ends of the bridge. Cone slopes were secured with concrete plates and stones because of the large water level fluctuations. The renewed bridge has a total length of 94m. Literature 1. T.Y.Lin Design of Prestressed Concrete Structures, second edition // John Wiley & Sons, Inc., NY, Survey report of the Nigrande bridge over Venta River from SIA Inženierbūve Survey report of the Nigrande bridge over Venta River from AS Ceļuprojekts, 2003.

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