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Integral Bridge for High-Speed Railway
Rodríguez, Javier and Martinez Cutillas, Francisco J. and Marti Rodriguez, Joaquin
Integral Bridge for High-Speed Railway.
"Structural Engineering International", v. 21
The structural continuity of fully integral bridges entails many advantages and some drawbacks. Among the latter, the cyclic expansions and contractions of the deck caused by seasonal thermal variations impose alternating displacements at the piers and abutments, with effects that may be difficult to establish reliably. The advantages include easier construction and cheaper maintenance but, especially, horizontal loads can be transmitted to the ground in a much better way than in conventional bridges. This paper first presents a methodology for dealing with the problems that the cyclic displacements imposed raise at the abutments and at the bridge piers. At the former, large pressures may develop, possibly accompanied by undesirable surface settlements. At the latter, the degree of cracking and the ability to carry the specified loads may be in question. Having quantified the drawbacks, simplified but realistic analyses are conducted of the response of an integral bridge to braking and seismic loads. It is shown that integral bridges constitute an excellent alternative in the context of the requirements posed by new high-speed railway lines.
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