What Is Bridge Abutment? | Uses of Bridge Abutment | Components of Bridge Abutment | Type of Abutment

What Is Bridge Abutment (1)

Bridge Abutment Means

Bridge abutments serve to connect the deck or bridge surface to the ground at each end of the bridge. Supports the weight of the bridge horizontally and vertically by abutment.

On a short bridge, the abutment is placed as support on both ends of the bridge. , Sometimes a retaining wall is also formed with the abutment in the bridge.

The load of the bridge deck is transferred to the ground by abutments. The abutment is vertically placed in the heavy foundation. The number of abutments depends on the length of the bridge.

Due to the flow of water and the pressure coming from the soil, it survives due to the weight of the bridge.

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What Is Bridge Abutment?

A bridge abutment is important at the end of the bridge, which supports the bridge’s superstructure. In addition.

It provides stability to the bridge through the abutment and connects to the ground-level road. The filling material provides support for the bridge path.

The abutment in the bridge is used according to the site location and the purpose of the requirement. There are different types of abutments.

The use of abutment is chosen to keep in view the economic point of view and its type according to the site location.

Uses of Bridge Abutment

  1. Using the bridge abutment, it transfers the load on the bridge and the wind load from its self-dead weight to the ground.
  2. The use of an abutment helps to make a safe landing by supporting one edge of the approach slab.
  3. The abutment is used to transfer load from the superstructure to its base components.
  4. Abutments are used in arch bridges to provide stability between vertical and horizontal force elements.

Components of Bridge Abutment

The abutment consists of various structural elements. The abutments placed on both sides of the bridge include the following components:

1. Bridge Seat

The top part of the abutment is called the place where the bridge deck abutment is supported. This component is called the bridge seat.

2. Wing Wall

This component of the abutment is for embankment only. Which helps the bridge maintain a side slope embankment. In addition, it prevents embankment from erosion through short retaining walls.

3. Back Wall

Back walls are used to support embankment in bridge abutment. The side walls are built vertically at the edge of the bridge according to the slope of the embankment. The back walls serve to support the extension joints of the bridge deck.

4. Pile of the Abutment

The pile is the main part of the abutment. Which connects the base of the abutment to the seat of the bridge.

The depth of the pile is determined based on the height of the bridge and the depth of the barrier (flow, river, and canal).

5. Footing of the Abutment

The foundation of the abutment is called the foundation of a bridge. The foundation connects to the ground through piles.

The footing of the abutment is fixed on a series of piles. Its purpose is to provide stability to abutments on the ground surface.

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Type of Abutment

1. Gravity Abutment

gravity abutment

The foundation of this type of abutment is very heavy and large. The dead weight of this type of abutment is able to withstand water pressure and Earth pressure.

The structure of the gravity abutment is placed directly on the ground. Due to its weight, the gravitational force of the earth keeps it on the ground.

2. Cantilever Wall Abutments

Cantilever Wall Abutments

The cantilever abutment is used for two purposes. One is to support the ground behind the bridge, and the other is to support the bridge superstructure. These abutments should be made as short as possible as the filling material is installed on top of them.

3. U-Shaped Gravity Abutments

U-Shaped Gravity Abutments

This type of bridge has a wing-like shape perpendicular to the landing path, which acts as support-forts. This type of abutment has very stability.

The wing walls of the abutment are shaped at a 90-degree angle to the seat of the bridge. A pair of piles are at equal distances in the foundation of a U-shaped abutment. On which the abutment transfers its load.

These types of abutments are mostly made of reinforced cement concrete. The bottom of this abutment is connected to each other by means of the base of the pile. The pile of the abutment is usually the foot of the abutment.

4. Full Height Abutments

Full Height Abutments

This type of abutment is usually performed in metropolitan areas. The height of this type of abutment is higher.

It is constructed on a lower-level road. So that the whole embankment gets support, this type of structure is a very critical type.

5. Stub Abutments

Stub Abutments

This type of abutment is usually supported by a pile. At the bottom of this type of abutment, embankments are short constructed abutments. They are not very high above ground level.

Stub abutments generally retain the filling material of the bridge, the thickness of which is slightly greater than the thickness of the superstructure. Stub abutments can be economical in cost.

6. Semi-Stub Abutments

Semi-Stub Abutments

Usually, the height of the half-stub abutment is between the full height and the height of the stub abutment.

This type of abutment is constructed at the top of the embankment, unlike stub abutments. This type of abutment is constructed from the bottom of the abutment to the full height.

7. Counterfort Abutment

Counterfort Abutment

That counterfort abutment acts like a counterfort retaining wall. In the counterfort abutment, a thin wall called the main counterfort connects the wall to the footing. These counterfort walls are built at regular intervals.

The main purpose of counterfort abutment is to reduce the shear force and bending force imposed on the wall by the clay.

8. Spill-Through Abutments

Spill-Through Abutments

Spill-through abutments are short stub-type abutments. This type of abutment is supported on pedestals or columns extending to the natural ground. This type of abutment, like closed abutments, must be constructed prior to construction.

The main purpose of spill-through abutments is to install large voids in the stem. So that the proportion of ground pressure on the abutment can be reduced.

9. Mechanically Stabilized Abutment

Mechanically Stabilized Abutment

Mechanically fixed walls are used as bridge abutments. The bridge seat and footing are supported directly on the reinforced backfill, as shown in the figure above. Design concepts for mechanically stable walls increase abutment load reinforcement requirements.

These types of abutments are an economical alternative to mechanically deep bases or soft bases. This abutment can tolerate major distortions.

This type of abutment was used sparingly for the Moselle River bridge at Thionville, France.

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10. Pile Bent Abutments

Pile Bent Abutments

Pile bent abutment is a type of spill-through abutment. In these types of abutments, the wall-like support holds the support beam by a series of piles.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Bridge Abutment?

An abutment is a substructure at the ends of a bridge span or dam supporting its superstructure. Single-span bridges have abutments at each end which provide vertical and lateral support for the span, as well as act as retaining walls to resist lateral movement of the earthen fill of the bridge approach.

What Is an Abutment Bridge?

Abutments are used at the ends of bridges to retain the embankment and to carry the vertical and horizontal loads from the superstructure to the foundation.

What Is the Abutment of a Bridge?

Most highway bridge abutments are constructed from reinforced concrete. As with piers, the most common substantial maintenance action addressing structural concerns at abutments is concrete surface repair. There are two issues that affect abutments and not piers, drainage from the approach roadway and earth pressure.

Components of Bridge Abutment

The typical gravity abutment is the most common type of abutment, and it includes the bridge seat, back wall, footing, and wing walls to hold the bridge’s deck while including a retaining wall for the embankment.

Parts of Bridge Abutment

The five parts of the bridge abutment are as follows: a seat at the top of the abutment, wing walls on each side of the abutment, a back wall that supports the approach slab on the backside of the abutment, piles, and footing which provides foundation stability to the abutment and safely supports it.

Types of Abutments in Bridges

Several different abutment types can be used, including full-retaining, semi-retaining, sill, spill-through or open, pile-encased, and special designs.

What Are Abutments on a Bridge?

As a component of a bridge, the abutment provides vertical support to the bridge superstructure at the bridge ends, connects the bridge with the approach roadway, and retains the roadway base materials from the bridge spans.

What Is Abutment in Bridge Construction?

Abutment Bridge Construction
An abutment is a substructure at the ends of a bridge span or dam supporting its superstructure. Single-span bridges have abutments at each end which provide vertical and lateral support for the span, as well as act as retaining walls to resist lateral movement of the earthen fill of the bridge approach.

Bridge Abutment

Abutment. A retaining wall supports the ends of a bridge and, in general, retains or supports the approach embankment.

Types of Abutments

Several different abutment types can be used, including full-retaining, semi-retaining, sill, spill-through or open, pile-encased, and special designs.

Abutment Wall

Abutment Wall
An abutment is a substructure at the ends of a bridge span or dam supporting its superstructure. Single-span bridges have abutments at each end which provide vertical and lateral support for the span, as well as act as retaining walls to resist lateral movement of the earthen fill of the bridge approach.

Design of Abutment of Bridge

First, think about salient dimensions. The length of the abutment and pier should be at least the width of the bridge. Determine the width so that there is enough space for bridge bearings. Top-level of the abutment and pier should be 1 to 1.5m above the high flood level. Height is determined by scour depth and cross and longitudinal profiles around the bridge site. Pier ends are shaped to streamline the passage of water, usually semi-circular.

Design of Piers and Abutments

In abutment design, the forces to be considered are (1) Dead load due to superstructure. (2) Live load on the superstructure. (3) Self-weight of the abutment.

Spill Through Abutment Design Example

Steel H piles, concrete columns on footings, or drilled shaft foundations support this type of abutment. SPILL-THROUGH ABUTMENTS allow the soil to spill through the supporting columns. Typically, spill-through abutments are used with longer bridges and may have provisions for expansion.

Counterfort Abutment

The counterfort abutment joins the wall to the footing. These counterfort walls are built at regular intervals to reduce the shear force and bending force imposed on the wall. Spill-Through or Open Abutment. A spill-through or open abutment is used to decrease the amount of soil pressure on the abutment.

Spill Through Abutments

SPILL-THROUGH ABUTMENTS allow the soil to spill through the supporting columns. Typically, spill-through abutments are used with longer bridges and may have provisions for expansion. These are founded on spread footings and are used when adequate foundation material is close to the ground line.

Gravity Abutment

Gravity Abutment
The Gravity abutment comprises the bridge seat, back wall, footing, and wing walls that resist soil and water pressure. It is constructed on the ground, and gravitational pull is the key element for its durability. U-shaped Gravity Abutment. A U-shaped Abutment comprises a set of piles constructed with cement.

Bridge Seat

bridge seat – the top surface of an abutment or pier upon which the superstructure span is placed and supported; for an abutment, it is the surface forming the support for the superstructure and from which the back wall rises; for a pier, it is the entire top surface.

Pile Bent Abutment

Pile Bent Abutment
The pile bent abutment is a variant of a spill-through abutment that replaces the wall-like supports with a series of piles, or columns, to hold the support beam.

Abutment Piles

An abutment is a structure that supports one end of a bridge span and simultaneously supports the embankment that carries the track or roadway. An abutment also usually protects the barrier from the scour of the stream. A pier is a structure that supports the ends of two bridge spans.

Integral Abutment Pile Design

Integral Abutment Bridges are structures where the superstructure and substructure move together to accommodate the required translation and rotation. There are no bridge expansion joints, and in the case of fully integral abutment bridges, no bearings.

Abutment Footing

It is a short wall used to prevent the structure from soil erosion. Back Wall: It is placed above the bridge deck and is utilized to support the embankment. It is the filament that connects the ground soil to the bridge seat Abutment. The footing of the Abutment: It connects the pile to the ground.

Bridge Abutment Wall

An abutment is a substructure at the ends of a bridge span or dam supporting its superstructure. Single-span bridges have abutments at each end which provide vertical and lateral support for the span, as well as act as retaining walls to resist lateral movement of the earthen fill of the bridge approach.

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