STAGED CONSTRUCTION ANALYSIS OF SEGMENTAL PRESTRESSED CONCRETE CABLE STAYED BRIDGES
Hassan I. Hegab ^{(}^{1}^{)} , Osama M. Tawfik ^{(}^{2}^{)} , Mohammed T. Nemir ^{(}^{3}^{)} , and Hesham E. Nour Eldeen ^{(}^{4}^{)}
ABSTRACT
Construction of prestressed concrete cable stayed bridges involves major changes in configuration of the structure together with the applied loads. This arises from addition deck segments and stay cables to the partially constructed structure, in addition to adding or removing temporary prestressing force, and stay pretensioning forces. The final stresses and deformation of the completed bridge are highly dependent on the construction procedure. Judging the performance of cable stayed bridges during their service time after the application of subsequent loads, such as super imposed dead load, live loads, wind load, or any other kind of loads is highly related to the construction method. The objective of this research is to perform a full static geometric nonlinear analysis of prestressed concrete cablestayed bridges constructed by cantilevering method. The analysis extends to involve the construction phase and the service life phase of the bridge as well. Furthermore, the analysis spots on the effect of the construction method on the final behaviour of the bridge.
Keywords: Cable Stayed Bridges, Cantilevering Method , Finite Element, Geometric Nonlinear Analysis , Prestressing ,Pylon Shortening , Stage Analysis .
1. INTRODUCTION
Construction procedures are of primary importance in determining the state of stresses and deformations in cable stayed bridges. Generally, construction of cable stayed bridges progresses by the cantilevering method ^{(}^{7}^{,}^{9}^{,}^{1}^{0}^{,}^{1}^{1}^{)} . During cantilevering, sequence of segments and stays are added to the structure. In addition to that, stay forces and prestressing forces are added to or removed from the structure. The main purpose of this research is to perform a full static geometric nonlinear analysis of prestressed concrete cablestayed bridges constructed by cantilevering method. With regard to the construction phase, the analysis is carried out through all the construction steps due to the application of construction loads. Subsequently, for the service life phase, the analysis is reperformed due to the application of subsequent loads. This final behaviour of the bridge is achieved through the superposition of the two phases. Furthermore, to highlight the effect of the construction method on the final behaviour of the bridge, one stage construction of the bridge is imaginary assumed and performed.
^{1} Professor of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University.
^{2} Professor of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Menoufia University.
^{3} Associate Professor of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Menoufia University.
^{4} Bridge Engineer, Dar AlHandasah Consultants, Saudi Arabia, hesham.nour@dargroup.com.
2.
ANALYSIS STRATEGY
For purposes of analysis during construction, the analysis is performed along the
chronological construction steps. At the beginning of each construction step, any
element, load, prestressing force, and/or stay cable pretensioning force are added to or
removed from the structure and a full geometric nonlinear finite element analysis is
proceeded. At each construction phase, the reference geometry of the bridge is the
deformed shape resulting from the previous step. Consequently, only the new added
or removed loads are to be considered. The straining actions and deformations at the
end of any construction phase may be obtained by applying the superposition
principle of the phase under consideration together with all the earlier ones. Applying
the superposition will not violate the concept of the geometric nonlinearity as long as
the resulting stresses developed in the structural elements do not exceed the elastic
limit, which is a common practice in designing of cable stayed bridges.
Completing the structural analysis of the bridge in the construction phase, the analysis
of the service life phase ought to commence. In this phase, with regard to the
construction loads, the resulting stresses are estimated via the superposition of all the
construction steps. These construction loads include self weight of the structural
elements, stays initial pretensioning forces, prestressing forces and any other loads
induced during the construction. On the other hand, the stresses due subsequent loads
that apply on the bridge after the closure may be obtained through the geometric
nonlinear analysis of the completed bridge. These subsequent loads comprise super
imposed dead load, live loads, stay tuning and any further prestressing forces. The
final stresses induced in the bridge are finally calculated via applying the
superposition of the construction loads analysis with the subsequent loads analysis.
3. GEOMETRIC NONLINEAR ANALYSIS
The structural behaviour of cablestayed bridges is believed to be nonlinear. This is
due to three main reasons of nonlinearity, namely; large displacements, Pdelta effect,
and sag of the stay cables. During the cantilevering process, the displacements are
remarkably high. This leads to the fact that during cantilevering cable stayed bridges
are considered highly geometric nonlinear. Earlier investigations prove that geometric
nonlinearity may increase the vertical displacements by 25% more than the
straightforward elastic linear analysis ^{(}^{5}^{,}^{9}^{)} .
4. FINITE ELEMENT FORMULATION
4.1 Modelling of Deck and Pylons
The deck and pylons of the bridge are idealised to threedimensional beamcolumn
elements. The applied beamcolumn element is a twonodes element with seven
degrees of freedom at each node, three displacements, three rotations, and the warping
of the cross section ^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{,}^{8}^{,}^{9}^{)} .
Girders and pylons of cablestayed bridges experience PDelta behaviour due to the
interaction of large bending moments with high compressive axial forces. To account
for this Pdelta effect, the elastic stiffness matrix [ K
E
is modified by a geometric
stiffness matrix [ K
G
to get the tangent stiffness matrix [
K
T
,
K
T
= K + K
E
G
[1]
Moreover, the analysis is carried out in an iterative procedure to account for the large
displacements developed in cablestayed bridges due to their inherent slenderness
^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{,}^{9}^{)} . In this investigation, NewtonRaphson iterative procedure is performed in
anticipation of reaching an acceptable tolerance.
The applied elastic stiffness matrix takes into account the linear torsionalflexural
interaction, while the geometric stiffness matrix takes into account the nonlinear
torsionalflexural interaction together with the Pdelta effect. These two matrices are
originally derived by M. Nemir ^{(}^{8}^{)} for open sections and developed by H. Nour Eldeen
to adopt the behaviour of box sections ^{(}^{9}^{)} . The same matrices are applied by H. Hegab
et al ^{.}^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{)} for the nonlinear analysis of cablestayed bridges with box section decks.
4.2 Implementation for Prestressing Force
The authenticity and relevance of the analysis of a prestressed concrete member rests,
first and foremost, on the appropriate modelling of the tendon. Several different
modelling schemes are used to represent prestressing tendons.
In this investigation, prestressing tendons are modelled using a discrete modelling
scheme ^{(}^{3}^{)} . In this scheme the tendon is modelled with a truss element connected to the
beamcolumn element through rigid links as shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1: Tendon idealization
In this modelling scheme, there is an implicit interaction between the deformation of
the hosting concrete segment and the force in the tendon, irrespective of the cause of
deformation.
With regard to the losses prestressing forces, they are estimated in a separate spread
sheet. In this investigation only the friction losses, which constitute the major part of
the total losses, anchorage slippage, and elastic shortening are accounted for. This
estimation is essentially extracted from the AASHTO ^{(}^{1}^{)} and the ACI318M ^{(}^{2}^{)} .
4.3 Stay Cable Modelling
Whereas the exact analysis of a cable element shows that cable element sags into
catenary shape due to its self weight, it can be idealised to a straight element using an
equivalent modulus of elasticity. This concept of analysis was firstly introduced by
Ernst and has been verified by several other investigators ^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{,}^{9}^{,}^{1}^{0}^{,}^{1}^{1}^{)} . The equivalent
modulus of elasticity
E
eq
is given by:
E =
eq
E
1 +
w L
c
h
2
T
i
+
T
f
AE
24 T
i
2
2
T
f
[2]
where, 
E is the modulus of elasticity of the cable material, 

w 
c 
is the own weight of the cable, 

L 
h 
is the horizontal projection of the cable, 

A is the crosssectional area of the cable, 

T is the initial tensile force in the cable during the load increment, i 

and 
T 
f 
is the final tensile force in the cable during the load increment. 

Based on the concept of equivalent modulus of elasticity, stays are idealised to truss 

elements. Consequently, the stiffness matrix in local coordinates for the truss element 

is given by ^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{,}^{9}^{)} : 

AE 
eq 
1 
− 1 

K = 

1 

[3] 

where, 
E 
eq 
is the equivalent modulus of elasticity defined by Eq. 2. 
5. COMPUTER PROGRAM
The applied technique of solution is based on using the sparse nature of equations in a
direct solution technique by the elimination method. This method was originally
presented by Davies, and applied by Nemir ^{(}^{8}^{)} , Hegab et al ^{(}^{5}^{,}^{6}^{)} and Nour Eldeen ^{(}^{9}^{)} .
Based on this technique, and applying the derived mathematical algorithms and
models, a computer program is designed. This computer program is named as “Bridge
Construction” and it is capable to perform a full nonlinear geometric nonlinear
construction analysis of all structures in general and cable stayed bridges in particular.
The main concept of the designed computer code is shown in Fig. 2.
6. NUMERICAL APPLICATION
For the sake of numerical studies, a quite long span cable stayed bridge is chosen. The
general arrangement of the bridge is shown on Fig. 3. The bridge is analysed applying
the finite element formulation presented hereinbefore and using the designed
computer program to perform the analyses.
6.1. Bridge Construction Method
Simultaneously with the construction of the pylon (P3), the two side spans (P1 – P2)
and (P3 – P5) are segmentally erected. The two side spans are erected with a
cantilever of 16 metres length beyond P2 and P4, respectively.
A pier table of seventy five metres length over P3 is segmentally erected on
scaffolding supported on the two pylon legs. Upon the prestressing of the pier table
tendons, two erection frames are assembled at the ends of the pier table.
Fig 2: Main concept of “Bridge construction” computer code
Henceforward, a typical balanced cantilever erection commences. Each cycle consists
of the following main activities:
1. Advancing the erection frame.
2. Heavy lifting up, gluing, and fixing the stayed segment of three metres long into its design level.
3. Applying temporary prestressing bars.
4. Installation and pretensioning of the stay cable to its design pretensioning force.
5. Advancing the erection frame.
6. Heavy lifting up, gluing, and fixing the unstayed segment into its design level.
7. Applying temporary prestressing bars.
Coming to the last stay, i.e. stay No 33, one untypical cycle is required. This cycle
include the following main activities:
1. Advancing the erection frame.
2. Heavy lifting up, gluing, and fixing the stayed segment into its design level.
3. Applying temporary prestressing bars.
4. Dismantle of the two erection frames.
After that the closure procedure commences. The level of the end of the stayed
cantilevers is to be adjusted to suit the level of the end of the cantilever of the
approach span. This procedure should be carried out at both left and right sides.
Closure segments are to be castinplace on the two sides. Getting the required
strength, continuity prestressing tendons are prestressed. Consequently, all temporary
prestressing bars are removed.
Subsequent to the prestressing of the continuity tendons, installation of parapets and
median and accordingly pavement works are commenced. Figure 4 illustrates
Fig 3: General arrangement of the bridge and cross section of the deck
6.2.
One stage Analysis
In this analysis case, the bridge is assumed to be factitiously constructed in one stage.
However, this assumption is quite far from reality, it helps as a reference to show how
far that the construction method affects the structural behaviour of the bridge.
The bridge is analysed due permanent applied load (henceforth it will be abbreviated
as PAL). This PAL consists of the combination of self weight, super imposed dead
load, prestressing forces (henceforth they will be abbreviated as SW, SDL, and PS),
and the pretensioning forces induced in the stays.
6.3. Staged Construction Analysis
Once more the bridge is reanalysed. This time, the actual construction stages
described in article 6.1 are applied. For the comparison aspects, the analysis is re
performed due to PAL.
Fig. 4a: Construction Sequence
Fig. 4b: Construction Sequence (continued).
6.4. Comparisons Between The Two Different Analyses
The following categorised numerical comparisons are organised. The comparisons are
performed between the two cases of analyses as mentioned hereinbefore, namely; one
stage geometric nonlinear analysis versus staged construction geometric nonlinear
analysis. The comparisons are derived with regard to deck vertical deflections, deck
normal stresses, stay forces, and pylon elastic shortening.
6.3.1 Comparison of Deck Vertical Deflection
This comparison highlights how far the construction method strongly affects the
vertical displacement along the deck. Moreover, the construction method affects the
deformed shape configuration of the bridge. This effect is very remarkable within the
distance possessing high deflection values where it goes to an increase of 280% at 220
m apart from the pylon. Fig. 5.b shows the details of this comparison.
Fig 5: Comparison of vertical displacement
6.3.2 Comparison of Deck Normal Stresses
This comparison denotes that while the construction method effect preserves the
configuration of the normal stress distribution along the deck, it redistributes the
normal stress along the deck. On the side span, construction method effect tends to
increase the top fibres stress and decrease the bottom fibres stress. This redistribution
reaches its maximum effect on the top fibres by an increase of 40% at the side pier
location. In contrast, it reaches its maximum effect on the bottom fibres by a reduction
of 28% at 7 m apart from the side piers. With regard to the main span, construction
effect tends to reduce the top fibres stress and increase the bottom fibres stress within
almost the half span near to the side pier. This redistribution reaches its maximum
effect on the bottom fibres by an increase of 212% at a distance of 172.5 measured
from the pylon. In contrast, it reaches its maximum effect on the top fibres by a
reduction of 29% only at a distance of 192.5 measured from the pylon. Within the half
of the main span near to the pylon, construction method effect tends to redistribute the
normal stresses by increasing the top fibres stresses against decreasing the bottom
fibres stress. This redistribution reaches its maximum effect at 46.5 m apart from the
pylon with an increase of 39% at the top fibres accompanied with a reduction of 34%
at the bottom fibres. Figures 6.b and c show the details of this comparison.
Fig 6: Comparison of deck normal stress
6.3.3 Comparison of Cable Forces
With regard to the cable force point, the comparison denotes that the general trend is
that the cable forces of the stays near to the pylon are reduced due to the construction
method effect. This reduction reaches 14% at S3. In contrast with this, accounting for
the construction method effect increases the cable forces for the stays apart from the
pylon. This increase reaches 20% at S30. Fig. 7 illustrates this comparison.
6.3.4 Comparison of Pylon Elastic Shortening
Table2 shows the elastic shortening of the pylon resulting from the two different
methods of analysis. This comparison shows that the construction effect has a
negligible effect on the pylon elastic shortening.
Stay No.
Fig 7: Comparison of cable forces
Analysis method 
Table 2: Elastic shortening of the pylon Pylon elastic shortening mm 
44 

One stage analysis Staged construction analysis 
45 
7. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE STUDIES
The following conclusions can be extracted from the present investigation:
1.
Construction method has a significant effect on the developed displacements, stresses as well as stay cable forces.
2. Construction method has a negligible effect on the pylon elastic shortening.
With respect to areas of further research the following points should be considered:
1. Research to account for the time dependent factors such as creep, shrinkage, and aging of concrete together with time dependent losses in the prestressing forces are suggested.
2. Researches to include the different methods of construction rather than the cantilevering method will help to have a wide understanding for the effect of construction on the final behaviour of the bridge.
3. Numerical studies for different bridge configurations will assist to judge the necessity of performing the staged construction analysis.
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