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Re: Bridge Pile Sway Bracing

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Will Haynes wrote:

If you have battered piles at the ends of the bents, is it really necessary to also have sway bracing? Is the bracing usually in there to also help the foundation act together if one side is settling differently than the other?

The "old way" of designing bridge bents was to assume that they were not "bents" at all, but "flagpole" columns with the bent cap simply-spanning between them. This is probably the origin of this requirement.

Also, most such "requirements" were to standardize the design practice at the time when nearly all--if not all--highway bridges were designed "in house" by the DOT. Although you still have to get their approval--and that's the big problem I always had doing DOT work; doesn't matter if you're the EOR or not, they get final say-so regarding your design--if you can convince them that your design, whether it be as a true bent with moments resisted in bending at the joints, or whatever, you can do it your way.

You can certainly crank the effects of differential settlement into your structural analysis and design for that, as well as taking secondary moments into consideration.

Just remember that a great many of the DOT types are fairly set on having everything done "their way."


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