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Tension Field Action Question ?

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I have a job where I have to analyze an existing crosswalk/ pipe bridge for allowable live load.  The top of this is x-braced, the bottom has a concrete diaphragm, and both sidewalls are ¼” thick plates.  The drawings show full pen welds at all the joints in this plate which must have been ground down smooth.  There are horizontal channels that keep the plate from buckling between vertical members. Also, I believe that this was built in 1969, along with the rest of the buildings on either side.


I have never come across this type of system before and I’m not sure that I understand the advantages of using it, but does anyone have any guidance for me on this issue?  I’m looking for some type of analysis recommendations.  I’m not sure if this would act as a very deep plate girder or a truss using tension field action, though I would bet on the latter.


Any direction or comments would be greatly appreciated.




Brian S Bossley, PE

Ventura Engineering

7610 Olentangy River Rd

Columbus, OH 43235