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CHAPTER 4

ERECTION METHODS
4.1 GENERAL The erection procedure depends on the structural system of the bridge, the site conditions, dimensions of the shop-fabricated bridge units, equipments and other factors characteristic of a particular project. The techniques and methods of erecting cable-stayed bridges are as varied and numerous as the ingenuity and number of erector contractors. It is common practice for the design engineer to suggest a method of erection, because erection method not only affects the stresses in the structure during construction but may have an effect on the final stresses in the completed structure.

4.2 ERECTON METHODS The methods of erection for cable stayed bridges can be broadly described by three general methods as follows:

Erection Methods

Staging Method

Push-out Method

Cantilever Method

4.2.1 Staging Method The staging method of erection is most often used where there is a low clearance requirement to the underside of the structure and temporary bents will not interfere with any traffic below the bridge. Its advantage is its accuracy in maintaining required geometry and grade and its relatively low cost for low clearance. The staging erection method is explained through a case study as follows.

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4.2.1.1 Staging method: Rhine River Bridge at Maxau, Germany The superstructure erection for the Rhine Bridge began at an abutment on two temporary land piers and then proceeded by short cantilevers to rest on a temporary driver pier and the permanent tower pier [Fig. 4.1]. In the navigation channel, two temporary piers located at the third points of the navigation channel were utilized [Fig. 4.1]. Upon completion of the suspended structure the tower erection was begun. The tower was erected in nine units, each weighing up to 4.4 tons with cross-sectional dimensions of 1.95 m (6.5 ft) by 3 m (9.8 ft). The erection method for this bridge consisted simply of erecting the entire suspended structure on temporary piers, followed by the tower erection, and cable connections. Finally, the tower saddles were jacked to stress the cables to the desired tensile load to obtain profile and then the temporary piers were removed.

Figure 4.1: Staging method: Erection sequences of Rhine River Bridge

4.2.2 Push-out Method This method is commonly used in Europe where care must be taken not to interfere with traffic below the bridge and where cantilever construction is

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impractical. In this method, large sections of bridge deck are pushed out over the piers on rollers or sliding Teflon bearings. The deck is pushed out from both abutments toward the center, or, in some instances, from one abutment all the way to the other abutment. Assembling the components in an erection bay at one or both ends of the structure and progressively pushing the components out into the span as they are completed can simplify construction and reduce costs. The push-out erection method is explained through a case study as follows.

4.2.2.1 Push-out method: Julicher Strasse Bridge Here the erection problem was that the federal railway operation, which consisted of six electrified tracks under the eastern side span and the marshalling yard under the center span, could not be interrupted. The push-out concept was selected as the most feasible for the site conditions. An area behind the west abutment of approximately 61 m by 39 m was utilized as the assembly shop. Erection units were approximately 16 m in length and were assembled from six subunits and, as much as possible, were automatically welded at the assembly site. The erection procedure is shown in Fig. 4.2. It should be noted that in the final position the reaction load of the towers is borne by the permanent piers VIII and XI. However, during the push-out operation the tower reaction must be resisted by a lateral-beam diaphragm which in turn transmits the load to the longitudinal box girders. For this reason the cable stays are only partially tensioned. The jacking mechanism at the saddle is used to compensate for the cantilever deflection of the leading edge of the pushed out section. When the leading edge of the bridge reaches pier VIII [Fig. 4.2(d)], the bearing is elevated approximately 100 mm by jacks. As a result of this action the bearing pressure at pier VII is relieved. As the structure is pushed out farther, the bearing pressure at pier VIII will increase. It was determined that the allowable bearing pressure was reached when the leading edge extended approximately 7.3 m past pier IX. At this point the bearing at pier VIII is

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lowered to its original position. This procedure is then repeated until the structure is in its final position.

Figure 4.2: Push-out method: Erection sequences of Julicher Strasse Bridge

4.2.3 Cantilever Method Because of their self-anchored cable systems, the cantilever method has been widely used for the girder erection of cable-stayed bridges. The cantilever method is considered as the natural and logical solution for constructing the cable-stayed bridges of large span, where new girder segments are installed and then supported by new cable stays in each erection stage, and the construction process keeps going stage-by-stage until the bridge is completed. Since no auxiliary supports are needed for constructing the bridge girder in the cantilever method, a lot of construction cost and time can be saved. There are two basic alternates in the cantilever method. One is named herein the single cantilever method and the other is the double cantilever method. In the former the side span girders of the bridge are erected on auxiliary piers and afterwards the stiffening girder in main span is erected by one-sided free cantilevering until the span centre or the anchor pier on the far end is reached. In the latter, the bridge girder is erected from both side of the tower towards the anchor piers and the

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main span centre by double-sided free cantilevering. The cantilever erection method is explained through the erection procedure of a harp type cable stayed bridge as follows.

4.2.3.1 Cantilever method: Harp type cable stayed bridge The Pylons are erected. The first pair of girder segments B1 is installed. The stayed cables C1 are installed and stressed initially to elevate the girders and relieve their bending moments. The pair of girder segments B2 is installed. The stayed cables C2 are installed and stressed. The girder segments B3 are installed. The stayed cables C3 are installed and stressed. Girder segments B4 is installed and the bridge is closed at the main span centre.

Figure 4.3: Cantilever method: Erection sequences of a harp cable stayed bridge

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