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Durkee, J.

Steel Bridge Construction

Structural Engineering Handbook
Ed. Chen Wai-Fah
Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC, 1999
Steel Bri dge Constructi on
Jackson Durkee
ConsultingStructural Engineer, Bethlehem,
20.1 Introduction
20.2 Construction Engineeringin Relation to Design
20.3 Construction EngineeringCan BeCritical
20.4 Premisesand Objectivesof Construction Engineering
20.5 Fabrication and Erection Information Shown on\break
Design Plans
20.6 Erection Feasibility
20.7 Illustrationsof Challengesin Construction\break
20.8 Obstaclesto EffectiveConstruction Engineering
20.9 Examplesof InadequateConstruction Engineering
Allowancesand Effort
20.10ConsiderationsGoverningConstruction Engineering
20.11Two General Approachesto Fabrication and\break Erection
of BridgeSteelwork
20.12Exampleof Arch BridgeConstruction
20.13Which Construction ProcedureIsTo BePreferred?
20.14Exampleof Suspension BridgeCableConstruction
20.15Exampleof Cable-Stayed BridgeConstruction
20.16Field Checkingat Critical Erection Stages
20.17Determination of Erection Strength Adequacy
20.18Philosophy of theErection RatingFactor
20.19MinimumErection RatingFactors
20.20Decienciesof Typical Construction Procedure\break
Drawingsand Instructions
20.21Shop and Field Liaison by Construction Engineers
20.22Construction Practicesand Specications
20.24Further Illustrations
20.1 Introduction
Thischapter addressessomeof theprinciplesandpracticesapplicabletotheconstructionof medium-
and long-span steel bridges structuresof such sizeand complexity that construction engineering
becomesan important or even thegoverningfactor in thesuccessful fabrication and erection of the
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Webegin with an explanation of thefundamental natureof construction engineering, then go on
to explain someof thechallengesand obstaclesinvolved. Two general approachesto thefabrication
and erection of bridge steelwork are described, with examples from experience with arch bridges,
suspension bridges, and cable-stayed bridges.
The problem of erection-strength adequacy of trusswork under erection is considered, and a
method of appraisal offered that isbelieved to besuperior to thestandard working-stressprocedure.
Typical problemsin respect to construction proceduredrawings, specications, and practicesare
reviewed, and methods for improvement suggested. Finally, we take a view ahead, to the future
prospectsfor effectiveconstruction engineeringin theU.S.
Thischapter also containsalargenumber of illustrationsshowingavariety of erection methods
for several typesof steel bridges.
20.2 ConstructionEngineeringinRelationto
With respect to bridgesteelwork thedifferencesbetween construction engineeringand design engi-
neeringshould bekept rmly in mind. Design engineeringisof courseaconcept and processwell
known to structural engineers; it involvespreparing a set of plansand specications known as
thecontract documents that denethestructurein its completed conguration, referred to as
thegeometric outline. Thus, thedesign drawingsdescribeto thecontractor thesteel bridgesuper-
structurethat theowner wantsto seein placewhen theproject iscompleted. A considerabledesign
engineeringeffort isrequired to prepareagood set of contract documents.
Construction engineering, however, isnot so well known. It involvesgoverningand guidingthe
fabrication and erection operationsneeded to producethestructural steel membersto theproper
cambered or no-load shape, and get themsafelyand efcientlyup in theair in placein thestruc-
ture, such that thecompleted structureunder thedeadload conditionsand at normal temperature
will meet thegeometricand stressrequirementsstipulated on thedesign drawings.
Four key considerationsmay benoted: (1) design engineeringiswidely practiced and reasonably
well understood, and is the subject of a steady stream of technical papers; (2) construction engi-
neeringispracticed on only alimited basis, isnot aswell understood, and ishardly ever discussed;
(3) for medium- and long-span bridges, theconstruction engineeringaspectsarelikely to beno less
important than design engineeringaspects; and (4) adequatelystaffed and experienced construction
20.3 ConstructionEngineeringCanBeCritical
Theconstruction phaseof thetotal lifeof amajor steel bridgewill probablybemuchmorehazardous
than theservice-usephase. Experienceshowsthat alargebridgeismorelikelytosuffer failureduring
erection than after completion. Many decadesago, steel bridgedesign engineering had progressed
to thestagewherethechanceof structural failureunder serviceloadingsbecamealtogether remote.
However, the erection phase for a large bridge is inherently less secure, primarily because of the
prospect of inadequaciesin construction engineeringand itsimplementation at thejobsite. Indeed,
thehazardsassociated with theerection of largesteel bridgeswill bereadily apparent from areview
of theillustrationsin thischapter.
For signicant steel bridgesthekey to construction integrity liesin theproper planningand engi-
neeringof steelwork fabrication and erection. Conversely, failureto attend properly to construction
engineeringconstitutesan invitation to disaster. In fact, thisthesisisso compellingthat whenever a
steel bridgefailureoccursduringconstruction(seefor exampleFigure20.1), it isreasonabletoassume
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that theconstruction engineeringinvestigation waseither inadequate, not properlyimplemented, or
FIGURE20.1: Failureof asteel girder bridgeduringerection, 1995. Steel bridgefailuressuch asthis
oneinvitesuspicion that theconstruction engineeringaspectswerenot properly attended to.
20.4 PremisesandObjectivesof ConstructionEngineering
Obviously, when thestructureisin itscompleted conguration it isready for theserviceloadings.
However, during theerection sequencesthevariouscomponentsof major steel bridgesaresubject
to stressesthat may bequitedifferent from thoseprovided for by thedesigner. For example, during
construction there may be a derrick moving and working on the partially erected structure, and
the structure may be cantilevered out some distance causing tension-designed members to be in
compression and viceversa. Thus, thesteelwork contractor needsto engineer thebridgemembers
through their variousconstruction loadings, and strengthen and stabilizethemasmay benecessary.
Further, thecontractor mayneedtoprovidetemporarymemberstosupport andstabilizethestructure
asit passesthrough itssuccessiveerection congurations.
Inadditiontostrengthproblemstherearealsogeometricconsiderations. Thesteelworkcontractor
must engineer theconstruction sequencesstep by step to ensurethat thestructurewill t properly
together aserectionprogresses, andthat thenal or closingmemberscanbemovedintopositionand
connected. Finally, of course, thesteelwork contractor must carryout theengineeringstudiesneeded
to ensurethat thegeometry and stressingof thecompleted structureunder normal temperaturewill
bein accordancewith therequirementsof thedesign plansand specications.
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20.5 Fabrication and Erection Information Shown on Design
Regrettably, thelevel of engineeringeffort required to accomplish safeand efcient fabrication and
erectionof steelwork superstructuresisnot widelyunderstoodor appreciatedinbridgedesignofces,
nor indeed by agood many steelwork contractors. It isonly infrequently that wend aproper level
of capability and effort in theengineeringof construction.
The design drawings for an important bridge will sometimes display an erection scheme, even
thoughmost designersarenot experiencedinthepracticeof erectionengineeringandusuallyexpend
only aminimum or even supercial effort on erection studies. Theschemeportrayed may not be
practical, or may not besuitablein respect to thebidder or contractorsequipment and experience.
Accordingly, thebidder or contractor may bemaking a serious mistakeif herelies on an erection
schemeportrayed on thedesign plans.
Asan exampleof misplacederection effort on thepart of thedesigner, therehavebeen caseswhere
thedesignplansshowcantilever erectionbydecktravelers, withthepermanent membersstrengthened
correspondinglytoaccommodatetheerectionloadings; but thesuccessful bidder electedtousewater-
borneerectionderrickswithlongbooms, therebyobviatingthenecessityfor most or all of theerection
strengtheningprovided on thedesign plans. Further, even in thosecaseswherethecontractor would
decideto erect by cantilevering as anticipated on theplans, thereis hardly any way for thedesign
engineer to knowwhat will betheweight and dimensionsof thecontractorserection travelers.
20.6 ErectionFeasibility
Of course, the bridge designer does have a certain responsibility to his client and to the public in
respect totheerectionof thebridgesteelwork. Thisresponsibilityincludes(1) makingcertain, during
thedesign stage, that thereisa feasibleand economical method to erect thesteelwork; (2) setting
forthin thecontract documentsanynecessaryerection guidelinesandrestrictions; and(3) reviewing
the contractors erection scheme, including any strengthening that may be needed, to verify its
suitability. It may benoted that thislatter reviewdoesnot relievethecontractor fromresponsibility
for theadequacy and safety of theeld operations.
Bridgeannalsincludeanumber of caseswherethedesigningengineer failed to consider erection
feasibility. In onenotableinstancethedesign plansshowedthe1200-ft (366-m) main span for along
crossingover awideriver asan esthetically pleasingsteel tied-arch. However, erection of such aspan
in themiddleof theriver wasimpractical; onebidder found that thetonnageof falsework required
wasabout thesameastheweight of thepermanent steelwork. Following opening of thebids, the
owner foundthepricesquotedtobewell beyondtheresourcesavailable, andthetied-archmain span
was discarded in favor of a through-cantilever structure, for which erection falsework needs were
minimal and practical.
It may benoted that designingengineerscan stand clear of seriousmistakessuch asthisone, by
thesimpleexpedient of conferringwith prospectivebiddersduringthepreliminary design stageof a
major bridge.
20.7 Illustrationsof ChallengesinConstructionEngineering
Spacedoesnot permit comprehensivecoverageof thenumerousand difcult technical challenges
that can confront theconstruction engineer in thecourseof theerection of varioustypesof major
steel bridges. However, someconception of thekindsof steelwork erection problems, themethods
availableto resolvethem, and hazardsinvolved can beconveyed by viewsof bridgesin variousstages
of erection; refer to theillustrationsin thetext.
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20.8 ObstaclestoEffectiveConstructionEngineering
Thereisan unfortunatetendency among designing engineersto view construction engineering as
relatively unimportant. This view may beaugmented by thefact that few designers havehad any
signicant experiencein theengineeringof construction.
Further, managersin theconstruction industry must look critically at costs, and they can readily
develop theattitudethat their engineersaredoingunnecessary theoretical studiesand calculations,
detachedfromthepractical world. (Andindeed, thismaysometimesbethecase.) Suchmanagement
apprehension can constituteaseriousobstacleto staff engineerswho seetheneed to haveenough
money in thebridgetender to cover aproper construction engineeringeffort for theproject. There
isthetendency for steelwork construction company management to cut back theconstruction engi-
neeringallowance, partly becauseof thisapprehension and partly becauseof theconcern that other
tenderers will not be allotting adequate money for construction engineering. This effort is often
thought of by company management asa necessary evil at best something they would prefer
not to bebothered with or burdened with.
Accordingly, construction engineering tendsto beadifcult areaof endeavor. Theway for staff
engineers to gain the condence of management is obvious they need to conduct their inves-
tigations to a level of technical prociency that will command management respect and support,
and they must keep management informed as to what they are doing and why it is necessary. As
for managementsconcern that other bridgetendererswill not beputtinginto their packagesmuch
money for construction engineering, thisconcern isno doubt usually justied, and it isdifcult to
seehowresponsiblesteelwork contractorscan copewith thisproblem.
20.9 Examplesof InadequateConstructionEngineering
Even with thebest of intentions, thebiddersallocation of moneytoconstruction engineeringcan be
inadequate. Acasein point involved avery heavy, long-span cantilever trussbridgecrossingamajor
river. Thebridgesuperstructurecarriedacontract priceof some$30million, includingan allowance
of $150,000, or about one-half of 1%, for construction engineeringof thepermanent steelwork (i.e.,
not includingsuchmattersasdesign of erection equipment). Asfabrication anderection progressed,
many unanticipated technical problemscameforward, including brittle-fractureaspectsof certain
grades of the high-strength structural steel, and aerodynamic instability of H-shaped vertical and
diagonal truss members. In the end the contractors construction engineering effort mounted to
about $1.3million, almost ninetimestheestimated cost.
Another signicant example this one in the domain of buildings involved a design-and-
construct project for airplanemaintenancehangarsat aprominent airport. Thereweretwolargeand
complicated buildings, each 100150m(328492ft) in plan and 37m(121ft) high with a10-m
(33-ft) deepspace-frameroof. Eachbuildingcontainedabout 2300tonsof structural steelwork. The
design-and-construct steelwork contractor had submitted abid of about $30 million, and included
therein wasthemagnicent sum of $5000 for construction engineering, under theexpectation that
thiswork could bedoneon an incidental basisby theproject engineer in hissparetime.
Asthesteelwork contract went forward it quickly becameobviousthat theconstruction engineer-
ingeffort had been grossly underestimated. Thecontractor proceeded of staff-up appropriately and
carried out in-depth studies, leading to a detailed erection procedure manual of some 270 pages
showingsuch mattersaserection equipment and itspositioningand clearances; falsework require-
ments; liftingtackleand jackingfacilities; stress, stability, and geometricstudiesfor gravityand wind
loads; step-by-step instructionsfor raising, entering, and connectingsteelwork components; closing
and swinging the roof structure and portal frame; and welding guidelines and procedures. This
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erection proceduremanual turned out to bea key factor in thesuccessof theeldwork. Thecost
of thisconstruction engineeringeffort amounted to ten timestheestimate, but still cameto amere
one-fth of 1%of thetotal contract cost.
In yet another exampleamajor steelwork general contractor wasinduced to sublet theerection
of along-span cantilever trussbridgeto areputableerection contractor, whosequoted pricefor the
work was less than the general contractors estimated cost. During the erection cycle the general
contractorsengineersmadesomevisitsto thejob siteto observeprogress, and weresurprised and
disconcerted to observehow littleerection engineering and planning had been accomplished. For
example, theerector had madeno provision for installingjacksin thebottom-chord jackingpoints
for closureof themain span; it wasleft up to theeld forcesto providethejack bearingcomponents
insidethebottom-chordjointsandtondtherequiredjacksin thelocal market. When thejob-built
installationsweretestedit wasdiscoveredthat theywouldnot lift thecantileveredweight, andthejob
had to beshut down whiletheeld engineer scouted around to nd larger-capacity jacks. Further,
certain compression membersdid not appear to beproperly braced to carry theerection loadings;
the erector had not engineered those members, but just assumed they were adequate. It became
obviousthat theerector had not appraised thebridgemembersfor erection adequacy and had done
littleor no planningand engineeringof thecritical evolutionsto becarried out in theeld.
Many further examplesof inadequateattention to construction engineering could bepresented.
Experienceshows that theamounts of money and timeallocated by steelwork contractors for the
engineeringof construction arefrequently far lessthan desirableor necessary. Clearly, effort spent
on construction engineeringisworthwhile; it isobviously moreefcient and cheaper, and certainly
much safer, to plan and engineer steelwork construction in theofcein advanceof thework, rather
than to leavetheseimportant mattersfor theeld forcesto work out. Just afewbad moveson site,
with the corresponding waste of labor and equipment hours, will quickly use up sums of money
much greater than thoserequired for aproper construction engineeringeffort not tomention the
costsof any job accidentsthat might occur.
The obvious question is Why is construction engineering not properly attended to? Do not
contractorslearn, after abad experienceor two, that it isboth necessary and cost effectiveto do a
thoroughjobof planningandengineeringtheconstructionof important bridgeprojects?Experience
andobservationwouldseemtoindicatethat somesteelwork contractorslearnthislesson, whilemany
do not. Thereisalwayspressureto reducebid pricesto theabsoluteminimum, and to add even a
modest sumfor construction engineeringmust inevitablyreducethechanceof beingthelowbidder.
20.10 ConsiderationsGoverningConstructionEngineeringPrac-
There are no textbooks or manuals that dene how to accomplish a proper job of construction
engineering. In bridgeconstruction (andnodoubt in buildingconstruction aswell), theengineering
of construction tends to be a matter of each rms experience, expertise, policies and practices.
Usually thereismorethan oneway to build thestructure, dependingon thecontractorsingenuity
andengineeringskill, hisriskappraisal andinclinationtoassumerisk, theexperienceof hisfabrication
and erection work forces, hisavailableequipment, and hispersonal preferences. Experienceshows
that each project isdifferent; and although therewill besimilaritiesfrom onebridgeof agiven type
toanother, theconstruction engineeringmust beaccomplishedon an individual project basis. Many
aspectsof theproject at hand will turn out to bedifferent from thoseof previoussimilar jobs, and
also theremay benewengineeringconsiderationsand requirementsfor agiven project that did not
comeforward on previoussimilar work.
Duringtheestimatingand biddingphaseof theproject theprudent, experienced bridgesteelwork
contractor will start fromscratch andperformhisownfabricationanderectionstudies, irrespective
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of any erection schemesand information that may beshown on thedesign plans. Thesestudiescan
involve a considerable expenditure of both time and money, and thereby place that contractor at
a disadvantage in respect to those bidders who are willing to rely on hasty, supercial studies, or
wherethedesign engineer hasshown an erection scheme to simply assumethat it hasbeen
engineered correctly and proceed to use it. The responsible contractor, on the other hand, will
appraise the feasible construction methods and evaluate their costs and risks, and then make his
After thecontract hasbeen executed thecontractor will set forth howheintendsto fabricateand
erect, indetailedplansthat couldinvolvealargenumber of calculationsheetsanddrawingsalongwith
construction proceduredocuments. It isappropriatefor thedesign engineer on behalf of hisclient
to reviewthecontractorsplanscarefully, perform acheck of construction considerations, and raise
appropriatequestions. Wherethecontractor doesnot agreewith thedesignerscommentsthetwo
partiesget together for reviewand discussion, and in theend theyconcur on essential factorssuch as
fabricationanderectionproceduresandsequences, theweight andpositioningof erectionequipment,
thedesign of falsework and other temporary components, erection stressing and strengthening of
thepermanent steelwork, erection stability and bracing of critical components, any erection check
measurementsthat may beneeded, and span closingand swingingoperations.
Thedesigningengineersapproval isneeded for certain fabrication plans, such asthecambering
of individual members; however, in most casesthedesigner should stand clear of actual approval of
thecontractorsconstruction planssinceheisnot in aposition toaccept construction responsibility,
and too many thingscan happen duringtheeld evolutionsover which thedesigner hasno control.
It should beemphasized that even though thedesigning engineer hasusually had no signicant
experience in steelwork construction, the contractor should welcome his comments and evaluate
themcarefully and respectfully. In major bridgeprojectsmany matterscan get out of control or can
beimproved upon, and thecontractor should takeadvantageof every opportunity to improvehis
prospectsand performance. Theexperienced contractor will makesurethat heworksconstructively
with thedesigningengineer, standingwell clear of antagonisticor confrontational posturing.
20.11 Two General Approaches to Fabrication and Erection of
Ashasbeen stated previously, theobjectivein steel bridgeconstruction isto fabricateand erect the
structureso that it will havethegeometry and stressing designated on thedesign plans, under full
dead load at normal temperature. Thisgeometry isknown asthegeometric outline. In thecaseof
steel bridgestherehavebeen, over thedecades, two general proceduresfor achievingthisobjective:
1. TheeldadjustmentprocedureCarry out acontinuingprogramof eld surveysand
measurements, andperformcertainadjustmentsof selectedsteelwork componentsinthe
eldaserectionprogresses, inanattempt todiscover fabricationanderectiondeciencies
and compensatefor them.
2. TheshopcontrolprocedurePlacetotal relianceon rst-order surveyingof span base-
linesand pier elevations, and on accuratesteelwork fabrication and erection augmented
by meticulous construction engineering; and proceed with erection without any eld
adjustments, on thebasisthat theresultingbridgedeadload geometry and stressingwill
beasgood ascan possibly beachieved.
Bridgedesignershaveastrongtendencytooverestimatethecapabilityof eldforcestoaccomplish
accuratemeasurementsand effectiveadjustmentsof thepartially erected structure, and at thesame
time they tend to underestimate the positive effects of precise steel bridgework fabrication and
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erection. Asaresult, wecontinueto nd contract drawingsfor major steel bridgesthat call for eld
evolutionssuch asthefollowing:
1. Continuous trusses and girders At the designated stages, measure or weigh the
reactions on each pier, compare them with calculated theoretical values, and add or
remove bearing-shoe shims to bring measured values into agreement with calculated
2. Arch bridgesWith thearch ribserectedtomidspan andonlytheshort, closingcrown
sections not yet in place, measurethrust and moment at thecrown, comparethemwith
calculatedtheoretical values, andthenadjust theshapeof theclosingsectionstocorrect for
errorsin span-length measurementsand in bearing-surfaceanglesat skewback supports,
alongwith accumulated fabrication and erection errors.
3. Suspension bridgesFollowingerection of therst cablewireor strandacrossthespans
fromanchoragetoanchorage, surveyitssagineachspanandadjust thesesagstocomport
with calculated theoretical values.
4. ArchbridgesandsuspensionbridgesCarryout adeck-prolesurveyalongeachsideof
thebridgeunder thesteel-load-onlycondition, comparesurveyresultswiththetheoretical
prole, and shimthesuspender socketsso asto render thebridgeoorbeamslevel in the
completed structure.
5. Cable-stayedbridgesAt eachdeck-steelworkerectionstage, adjust tensionsinthenewly
erected cablestaysso asto bring thesurveyed deck proleand measured stay tensions
into agreement with calculated theoretical data.
Therearetwo primeobstaclesto thesuccessof eld adjustment proceduresof whatever type:
(1) eld determination of theactual geometric and stressconditionsof thepartially erected struc-
tureand itscomponentswill not necessarily bedenitive, and (2) calculation of thecorresponding
proper or target theoretical geometricand stressconditionswill most likely provetobelessthan
20.12 Exampleof ArchBridgeConstruction
Inthecaseof thearchbridgeclosingsectionsreferredtoheretofore, experienceontheconstructionof
twomajor xed-archbridgescrossingtheNiagaraRiver gorgefromtheU.S. toCanadatheRainbow
and theLewiston-Queenston arch bridges(seeFigures20.2 through 20.5)hasdemonstrated the
difculty, andindeedthefutility, of attemptstomakeeld-measuredgeometricandstressconditions
agree with calculated theoretical values. The broad intent for both structures was to make such
adjustmentsin theshapeof thearch-rib closingsectionsat thecrown (which werenominally about
1 ft [ 0.3 m] long) as would bring thearch-rib actual crown moments and thrusts into agreement
with the calculated theoretical values, thereby correcting for errors in span-length measurements,
errorsin bearing-surfaceanglesat theskewback supports, and errorsin fabrication and erection of
thearch-rib sections.
Followingextensivetheoretical investigationsand on-sitemeasurementsthesteelwork contractor
found, inthecaseof eachNiagaraarchbridge, that therewerelargepercentagedifferencesbetweenthe
eld-measured and thecalculated theoretical valuesof arch-rib thrust, moment, and line-of-thrust
position, and that themeasurementscould not beinterpreted so asto indicatewhat correctionsto
thetheoretical closingcrown sections, if any, shouldbemade. Accordingly, thecontractor concluded
that the best solution in each case was to abandon any attempts at correction and simply install
the theoretical-shape closing crown sections. In each case, the contractors recommendation was
accepted by thedesigningengineer.
Pointsto benoted in respect to theseeld-closureevolutionsfor thetwo long-span arch bridges
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FIGURE20.2: Erection of arch ribs, RainbowBridge, NiagaraFalls, NewYork, 1941. Bridgespan is
950ft (290m), withriseof 150ft (46m); boxribsare312ft (0.913.66m). Tiebackswereattached
startingat theendof thethirdtier andjumpedforwardaserectionprogressed(seeFigure20.3). Much
permanent steelwork wasused in tieback bents. Derrickson approachesload steelwork on material
carsthat travel up arch ribs. Travelersareshown erecting last full-length arch-rib sections, leaving
only theshort, closingcrown sectionsto beerected. Canadaisat right, theU.S. at left. (Courtesy of
BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
are that accurate jack-load closure measurements at the crown are difcult to obtain under eld
conditions; and calculation of correspondingtheoretical crown thrustsand momentsarelikely to be
questionablebecauseof uncertaintiesin thedead loading, in theweightsof erection equipment, and
in thesteelwork temperature. Therefore, attemptsto adjust theshapeof theclosingcrown sections
so asto bring theactual stresscondition of thearch ribscloser to thetheoretical condition arenot
likely to beeither practical or successful.
It wasconcluded that for long, exiblearch ribs, thebest construction philosophy and practice
is(1) to achieveoverall geometric control of thestructureby performing all eld survey work and
steelwork fabrication anderection operationstoameticulousdegreeof accuracy, andthen (2) torely
on that overall geometric control to producea nished structurehaving thedesired stressing and
geometry. For theRainbow arch bridge, thesepractical construction considerationswereset forth
denitively by thecontractor in [ 2] . Thecontractorsexperiencefor theLewiston-Queenston arch
bridgewassimilar to that on Rainbow, and wasreported although in considerably lessdetail
in [ 10] .
20.13 WhichConstructionProcedureIsToBePreferred?
Thecontractorsexperienceon theconstruction of thetwo long-span xed-arch bridgesisset forth
at length sinceit illustratesakey construction theorem that isbroadly applicableto thefabrication
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FIGURE20.3: Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, New York, showing successivearch tieback positions. Arch-rib erection geometry and stressing
werecontrolled by meansof measured tieback tensionsin combination with surveyed arch-rib elevations.

FIGURE20.4: Lewiston-Queenston arch bridge, near Niagara Falls, New York, 1962. Theworlds
longest xed-arch span, at 1000 ft (305 m); riseis159 ft (48 m). Box arch-rib sectionsaretypically
about 3 13-1/2 ft (0.9 4.1 m) in cross-section and about 44-1/2 ft (13.6 m) long. Job was
estimatedusingerection tiebacks(sameasshown in Figure20.3), but subsequent studiesshowedthe
long, slopingfalsework bentsto bemoreeconomical (even if lesssecurelooking). Much permanent
steelwork was used in the falsework bents. Derricks on approaches load steelwork onto material
carsthat travel up arch ribs. The115-ton-capacity travelersareshown erecting thelast full-length
arch-rib sections, leavingonly theshort, closingcrown sectionsto beerected. Canadaisat left, the
U.S. at right. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
and erection of steel bridgesof all types. Thistheoremholdsthat thecontractorsbest procedurefor
achieving, in thecompleted structure, thedeadload geometry and stressingstipulated on thedesign
plans, isgenerally asfollows:
1. Determine deadload stress data for the structure, at its geometric outline and under
normal temperature, based on accurately calculated weightsfor all components.
2. Determinethecambered (i.e., no-load ) dimensionsof each component. Thisinvolves
determining the change of shape of each component from the deadload geometry, as
its deadload stressing is removed and its temperature is changed from normal to the
shop-tape temperature.
3. Fabricate, withall dueprecision, eachstructural component toitsproper no-loaddimen-
sions except for certain exiblecomponentssuch aswireropeand strand members,
which may requirespecial treatment.
4. Accomplish shop assembly of membersand reaming assembled of holesin joints, as
5. Carry out comprehensive engineering studies of the structure under erection at each
key erection stage, determiningcorrespondingstressand geometric data, and preparea
step-by-step erection procedureplan, incorporating any check measurementsthat may
benecessary or desirable.
6. Duringtheerection program, bringall membersand jointsto thedesignated alignment
prior to boltingor welding.
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FIGURE20.5: Lewiston-Queenston arch bridge, near NiagaraFalls, NewYork. Crawler craneserect steelwork for spans1and 6and erect material
derricks thereon. These derricks erect traveler derricks, which move forward and erect supporting falsework and spans 2, 5, and 4. Traveler
derrickserect arch-rib sections1and 2and supportingfalsework at each skewback, then set up creeper derricks, which erect archesto midspan.

7. Enter and connect thenal or closingstructural components, followingtheclosingpro-
cedureplan, without attemptingany eld measurementsthereof or adjustmentsthereto.
In summary, thekey to construction successisto accomplish theeld surveysof critical baselines
and support elevations with all due precision, perform construction engineering studies compre-
hensivelyand shop fabrication accurately, and then carrytheerection evolutionsthrough in theeld
without any second guessingand ill-advised attemptsat measurement and adjustment.
It maybenotedthat nospecial treatment isaccordedtostaticallyindeterminatemembers; theyare
fabricated and erected under thesamegoverningconsiderationsapplicableto statically determinate
members, as set forth above. It may be noted further that this general steel bridge construction
philosophydoesnot ruleout check measurementsaltogether, aserection goesforward; under certain
special conditions, measurements of stressing and/or geometry at critical erection stages may be
necessary or desirablein order to conrm structural integrity. However, beforetheerector callsfor
any such measurementsheshould makecertain that they will proveto bepractical and meaningful.
20.14 Exampleof SuspensionBridgeCableConstruction
In order to illustratetheshop control construction philosophy further, itsapplication to themain
cablesof therst Wm. Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge, crossingtheChesapeakeBayin Maryland,
completed in 1952 (Figure20.6), will bedescribed. Suspension bridgecablesconstituteoneof the
most difcult bridgeerection challenges. Up until rst Chesapeake thecablesof major suspension
bridges had been adjusted to the correct position in each span by means of a sag survey of the
rst-erected cablewiresor strands, usingsurveyinginstrumentsand target rods. However, on rst
Chesapeake, with its 1600-ft (488-m) main span, 661-ft (201-m) side spans, and 450-ft (l37-m)
back spans, thesteelwork contractor recommended abandoning thestandard cable-sag survey and
adopting the setting-to-mark procedure for positioning the guide strands a signicant new
concept in suspension bridgecableconstruction.
FIGURE20.6: Suspension spansof rst ChesapeakeBay Bridge, Maryland, 1952. Deck steelwork is
under erectionandisabout 50%complete. Atypical four-panel through-trussdecksection, weighing
about 100 tons, isbeingpicked in west sidespan, and also in east sidespan in distance. Main span
is1600ft (488m) and sidespansare661ft (201m); towersare324ft (99m) high. Cablesare14in.
(356mm) in diameter and aremadeup of 61helical bridgestrandseach (seeFigure20.8).
Thesteelworkcontractorsrationalefor settingtomarks wasspelledout inaletter tothedesigning
engineer (see Figure 20.7). (The complete letter is reproduced because it spells out signicant
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
construction philosophies.) Thisinnovation wasaccepted by thedesigning engineer. It should be
noted that thecontractorsmajor argument wasthat settingto markswould lead to amoreaccurate
cableplacement than would thesagsurvey. Theminor arguments, alluded to in theletter, werethe
resultingsavingsin preparatoryofceengineeringwork andin theeldengineeringeffort, andmost
likely in construction timeaswell.
Each cable consisted of 61 standard helical-type bridge strands, as shown in Figure 20.8. To
implement the setting-to-mark procedure each of three lower-layer guide strands of each cable
(i.e., strands1, 2, and 3) wasaccurately measured in themanufacturing shop under thesimulated
full-deadload tension, and circumferential markswereplaced at thefour center-of-saddlepositions
of each strand. Then, in theeld, theguidestrands(each about 3955ft [ 1205m] long) wereerected
and positioned accordingto thefollowingprocedure:
1. Placethethreeguidestrandsfor each cableon themark at each of thefour saddlesand
set normal shimsat each of thetwo anchorages.
2. Under conditions of uniform temperature and no wind, measure the sag differences
amongthethreeguidestrandsof each cable, at thecenter of each of thevespans.
3. Calculatethecenter-of-gravity position for each guide-strand group in each span.
4. Adjust thesag of each strand to bring it to thecenter-of-gravity position in each span.
Thisposition wasconsideredtorepresent thecorrect theoretical guide-strandsagin each
Themaximumspread fromthehighest tothelowest strandat thespancenter, prior toadjustment,
wasfound to be1-3/4in. (44mm) in themain span, 3-1/2in. (89mm) in thesidespans, and 3-3/4
in. (95mm) in theback spans. Further, themaximumchangeof perpendicular sagneeded to bring
theguidestrandsto thecenter-of-gravity position in each span wasfound to be15/16 in. (24 mm)
for the main span, 2-1/16 in. (52 mm) for the side spans, and 2-1/16 in. (52 mm) for the back
spans. Thesesmall adjustments testify to theaccuracy of strand fabrication and to thevalidity of
thesetting-to-mark strand adjustment procedure, which wasdeclared to beasuccessby all parties
concerned. It seemsdoubtful that such accuracyin cablepositioningcouldhavebeen achievedusing
thestandard sag-survey procedure.
With therst-layer strandsin proper position in each cable, thestrandsin thesecond and subse-
quent layerswerepositionedtohangcorrectlyin relation totherst layer, asiscustomaryandproper
for suspension bridgecableconstruction.
This example provides good illustration that the construction engineering philosophy referred
to astheshop-control procedurecan beapplied advantageously not only to typical rigid-typesteel
structures, such ascontinuoustrussesand arches, but also to exible-typestructures, such assus-
pension bridges. Thereis, however, an important caveat: thesteelwork contractor must bearmof
suitablecaliber and experience.
20.15 Exampleof Cable-StayedBridgeConstruction
Inthecasecable-stayedbridges, therst of whichwerebuilt inthe1950s, it appearsthat thegoverning
construction engineering philosophy callsfor eld measurement and adjustment asthemeansfor
control of stay-cableand deck-structuregeometry and stressing. For example, wehaveseen speci-
cationscallingfor thecompleted bridgeto meet thefollowinggeometricand stressrequirements:
1. Thedeck elevation at midspan shall bewithin 12in. (305mm) of theoretical.
2. Thedeckproleat eachcableattachment point shall bewithin2in. (50mm) of aparabola
passingthrough theactual (i.e., eld-measured) midspan point.
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FIGURE20.7: Settingcableguidestrandsto marks.
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FIGURE20.7: (Continued) Settingcableguidestrandsto marks.
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FIGURE20.8: Main cableof rst ChesapeakeBay suspension bridge, Maryland. Each cableconsists
of 61 helical-typebridgestrands, 55 of 1-11/16 in. (43 mm) and 6 of 29/32 in. (23 mm) diameter.
Strands1, 2, and3weredesignatedguidestrands andwereset tomark at eachsaddleandtonormal
shimsat anchorages.
3. Cable-stay tensionsshall bewithin 5%of thecorrected theoretical values.
Such specication requirementsintroduceanumber of problemsof interpretation, eldmeasure-
ment, calculation, and eld correction procedure, such asthefollowing:
1. Interpretation:
Thespecicationsaresilent withrespect totransverseelevationdifferentials. There-
fore, two deck-prolecontrol parabolasarepresumably needed, onefor each side
of thebridge.
2. Field measurement of actual deck prole:
The temperature will be neither constant nor uniform throughout the structure
duringthesurvey work.
Thesurvey procedureitself will introducesomeinherent error.
3. Field measurement of cable-stay tensions:
Hydraulic jacks, if used, arenot likely to beaccuratewithin 2%, perhapseven 5%;
further, theexact point of lift off will beuncertain.
Other proceduresfor measuring cabletension, such asvibration or strain gaging,
do not appear to denetensionswithin about 5%.
All cabletensionscannot bemeasured simultaneously; an extended period will be
needed, duringwhich conditionswill vary and introduceadditional errors.
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4. Calculation of actual bridgeproleand cabletensions:
Field-measured data must be transformed by calculation into corrected actual
bridge proles and cable tensions, at normal temperature and without erection
Actual deadweightsof structural componentscandiffer byperhaps2%fromnomi-
nal weights, whiletemporaryerectionloadsprobablycannot beknownwithinabout
Theactual temperatureof structural componentswill beuncertainandnot uniform.
Themathematical model itself will introduceadditional error.
5. Target condition of bridge:
Thetarget condition to beachieved by eld adjustment will differ from thegeo-
metriccondition, becauseof theabsenceof thedeck wearingsurfaceandother such
components; it must thereforebecalculated, introducingadditional error.
6. Determiningeldcorrectionstobecarriedout byerector, totransformcorrectedactual
bridgeinto target condition bridge:
Thebridgestructureishighly redundant, and changingany onecabletension will
send geometric and cable-tension changes throughout the structure. Thus, an
iterativecorrection procedurewill beneeded.
It seemslikely that thetotal effect of all thesepractical factorscould easily besufcient to render
ineffectivethecontractorsattemptstonetunethegeometryandstressingof theas-erectedstructure
in order to bring it into agreement with thecalculated bridgetarget condition. Further, therecan
be no assurance that the specications requirements for the deck-prole geometry and cable-stay
tensionsareeven compatible; it seemslikely that either thedeck geometry or thecabletensionsmay
beachieved, but not both.
Specications clauses of the type cited seem clearly to constitute unwarranted and unnecessary
eld-adjustment requirements. Such clauses are typically set forth by bridge designers who have
great condence in computer-generated calculations, but do not have a sufcient background in
and understandingof thepractical factorsassociated with steel bridgeconstruction. Experiencehas
shown that eld proceduresfor major bridgesdeveloped unilaterally by design engineersshould be
reviewed carefully to determinewhether they arepractical and desirableand will in fact achievethe
desired objectives.
In viewof all theseconsiderations, thequestion comesforwardastowhat design andconstruction
principlesshouldbefollowedtoensurethat thedeadloadgeometryandstressingof steel cable-stayed
bridgeswill fall within acceptablelimits. Consistent with thegeneral construction-engineeringpro-
ceduresrecommendedfor other typesof bridges, weshouldabandon relianceon eldmeasurements
followed by adjustmentsof geometry and stressing, and instead placeprimerelianceon proper geo-
metriccontrol of bridgecomponentsduringfabrication, followed by accurateerection evolutionsas
thework goesforward in theeld.
Accordingly, theproper construction procedurefor cable-stayed steel bridgescan besummarized
1. Determinetheactual bridgebaselinelengthsand pier-top elevationsto ahigh degreeof
2. Fabricatethebridgetowers, cables, and girdersto ahigh degreeof geometricprecision.
3. Determine, in thefabricatingshop, thenal residual errorsin critical fabricated dimen-
sions, includingcable-staylengthsafter socketing, andpositionsof socket bearingsurfaces
or pinholes.
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4. Determinecorrected theoretical shimsfor each individual cablestay.
5. Duringerection, bringall tower and girder structural jointsinto shop-fabricated align-
ment, with fair holes, etc.
6. At theappropriateerectionstages, install correctedtheoretical shimsfor eachcablestay.
7. With the structure in the all-steel-erected condition (or other appropriate designated
condition), check it over carefully to determine whether any signicant geometric or
other discrepanciesarein evidence. If therearenone, declareconditionsacceptableand
continuewith erection.
This construction engineering philosophy can be summarized by stating that if the steelwork
fabrication and erection areproperly engineered and carried out, thegeometry and stressingof the
completed structure will fall within acceptable limits; whereas, if the fabrication and erection are
not properly done, correctivemeasurementsand adjustmentsattempted in theeld arenot likely to
improvethestructure, or even to provesatisfactory. Accordingly, in constructingsteel cable-stayed
bridgesweshould placefull relianceon accurateshop fabrication and on controlled eld erection,
just as is doneon other types of steel bridges, rather than attempting to makemeasurements and
adjustmentsin theeld to compensatefor inadequatefabrication and erection.
20.16 FieldCheckingat Critical ErectionStages
Ashasbeen stated previously, thebest governingprocedurefor steel bridgeconstruction isgenerally
the shop control procedure, wherein full reliance is placed on accurate fabrication of the bridge
componentsasthebasisfor theintegrity of thecompleted structure. However, thisphilosophy does
not ruleout thedesirability of certain checksin theeld aserection goesforward, with theobjective
of providingassurancethat thework ison target and no signicant errorshavebeen introduced.
It would beimpossibleto catalogthosecasesduringsteel bridgeconstruction whereaeld check
might be desirable; such cases will generally suggest themselves as the construction engineering
studiesprogress. Wewill only comment that theseeld-check cases, and theproceduresto beused,
should belooked at carefully, and even skeptically, to makecertain that themeasurementswill be
both desirableand practical, producing meaningful information that can beused to augment job
20.17 Determinationof ErectionStrengthAdequacy
Quitecommonly, bridgemember forcesduringtheerection stageswill bealtogether different from
thosethat will prevail in thecompleted structure. At each critical erection stagethebridgemembers
must bereviewed for strength and stability, to ensurestructural integrity asthework goesforward.
Such aconstruction engineering review istypically theresponsibility of thesteelwork erector, who
carries out thorough erection studies of the structure and calls for strengthening or stabilizing of
membersasneeded. Theerector submitsthestudiesandrecommendationstothedesigningengineer
for reviewandcomment, but normallythefull responsibilityfor steelwork structural integrityduring
erection restswith theerector.
In the U.S., bridgework design specications commonly require that stresses in steel structures
under erection shall not exceed certain multiplesof design allowablestresses. Although thistypeof
erection stresslimitation isprobably safefor most steel structuresunder ordinary conditions, it is
not necessarily adequatefor thecontrol of theerection stressingof largemonumental-typebridges.
The key point to be understood here is that fundamentally, there is no logical xed relationship
between design allowable stresses, which are based upon somewhat uncertain long-term service
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
FIGURE20.9: Cable-stayedorthotropic-steel-deck bridgeover Mississippi River at Luling, La., 1982;
view looking northeast. Themain span is1222 ft (372 m); theA-frametowersare350 ft (107 m)
high. A barge-mounted ringer derrick erected the main steelwork, using a 340-ft (104-m) boom
with a 120-ft (37-m) jib to erect tower components weighing up to 183 tons, and using a shorter
boomfor deck components. Cablestaysat theendsof projectingcrossgirdersarepermanent; others
aretemporary erection stays. Girder section 16-west of north portion of bridge, erected afewdays
previously, isprojectingat left; companion girder section 16-east ison bargeready for erection (see
loadingrequirementsalongwith somedegreeof assumed structural deterioration, and stressesthat
aresafeandeconomical duringthebridgeerectionstages, whereloadsandtheir locationsarenormally
well dened and thestructural material isin new condition. Clearly, thebasic premisesof thetwo
situations are signicantly different, and factored design stresses must therefore be considered
unreliableasabasisfor evaluatingerection safety.
Thereisyet afurther problem with factored design stresses. Largetruss-typebridgesin various
erection stages may undergo deections and distortions that are substantial compared with those
occurring under service conditions, thereby introducing apprehension regarding the effect of the
secondary bendingstressesthat result fromjoint rigidity.
Recognizing these basic considerations, the engineering department of a major U.S. steelwork
contractor went forward in the early 1970s to develop a logical philosophy for erection strength
appraisal of large structural steel frameworks, with particular reference to long-span bridges, and
implemented this philosophy with a stress analysis procedure. The effort was successful and the
resultswerereported in apaper published by theAmerican Society of Civil Engineersin 1977 [ 5] .
This stress analysis procedure, designated the erection rating factor (ERF) procedure, is founded
directlyupon basicstructural principles, rather than on bridge-member design specications, which
areessentially irrelevant to theproblemof erection stressing.
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FIGURE20.10: Luling Bridgedeck steelwork erection, 1982; view looking northeast (refer to Fig-
ure 20.9) The twin box girders are 14 ft (4.3 m) deep; the deck plate is 7/16 in. (11 mm) thick.
Girder section 16-east is being raised into position (lower right) and will be secured by large-pin
hingebarsprior to fairing-up of joint holesand permanent bolting. Temporary erection staysare
jumped forward asgirder erection progresses.
It may benoted that asignicant inducement toward development of theERFprocedurewasthe
failureof therst Quebeccantilever bridgein1907(seeFigures20.11and20.12). It wasquiteobvious
that evaluation of thestructural safety of theQuebec bridgeat advanced cantilever erection stages,
suchasthat portrayedinFigure20.11, bymeansof thefactoreddesignstressprocedure, wouldinspire
no condenceand would not bejustiable.
Theerection ratingfactor (ERF) procedurecan besummarized asfollows:
1. Assumeeither (a) pin-ended members(no secondary bending), (b) plane-frameaction
(rigid trussjoints, secondary bendingin oneplane), or (c) space-frameaction (bracing-
member joints also rigid, secondary bending in two planes), as engineering judgment
2. Determine, for each designated erection stage, the member primary forces (axial) and
secondary forces(bending) attributableto gravity loadsand wind loads.
3. Computethemember stressesinducedbythecombinederectionaxial forcesandbending
4. ComputetheERFfor eachmember at threeor velocations: at themiddleof themember;
at each joint, insidethegusset plates(usually at therst rowof bolts); and, whereupset
member platesor gusset platesareused, at thestepped-down cross-section outsideeach
5. Determine the minimum computed ERF for each member and compare it with the
stipulated minimumvalue.
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FIGURE20.11: First Quebecrailway cantilever bridge, 23August 1907. Cantilever erection of south
main span, 6 daysbeforecollapse. Thetower traveler erected theanchor span (on falsework) and
then thecantilever arm; then erectedthetop-chordtraveler, whichisshown erectingsuspendedspan
at end of cantilever arm. Themain span of 1800ft (549m) wastheworldslongest of any type. The
sidespan bottomchordssecondfrompier (arrow) failedin compression becauselatticingconnecting
chord corner angleswasdecient under secondary bendingconditions.
6. WherethecomputedminimumERFequalsor exceedsthestipulatedminimumvalue, the
member isconsidered satisfactory. Whereit isless, themember may beinadequate; the
critical part of it isreevaluatedin greater detail andtheERFrecalculatedfor further com-
parison with thestipulated minimum. (Initially calculated valuescan often beincreased
7. When the computed minimum ERF remains less than the stipulated minimum, the
member must bestrengthened asrequired.
Notethat member forcesattributableto wind aretreated thesameasthoseattributableto gravity
loads. The old concept of increased allowable stresses for wind is not considered to be valid
for erection conditions and is not used in theERF procedure. Maximum acceptable/r and b/t
valuesareincluded in thecriteria. ERFsfor memberssubjected to secondary bendingmomentsare
calculated usinginteraction equations.
20.18 Philosophyof theErectionRatingFactor
In order that thestructural integrityor reliabilityof asteel framework can bemaintainedthroughout
theerection program, theminimumprobable(or minimumcharacteristic ) strength valueof each
member must necessarily be no less than the maximum probable (or maximum characteristic )
forcevalue, under themost adverseerection condition. In other words, thefollowingrelationship is
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
FIGURE20.12: Wreckageof south anchor span of rst Quebecrailwaycantilever bridge, 1907. View
lookingnorth fromsouth shoreafewdaysafter collapseof 29August 1907, theworst disaster in the
history of bridgeconstruction. About 20,000tonsof steelwork fell into theSt. LawrenceRiver, and
75workmen lost their lives.
S S F +F (20.1)
S = computed or nominal strength valuefor themember
S = maximumprobablemember strength underrun fromthecomputed or nominal value
F = computed or nominal forcevaluefor themember
F = maximumprobablemember forceoverrun fromthecomputed or nominal value
Equation 20.1 states that in the event the actual strength of the structural member is less than
thenominal strength, S, by an amount S, whileat sametimetheactual forcein themember is
greater than thenominal force, F, by an amount F, themember strength will still beno lessthan
themember force, and so themember will not fail duringerection. Thisequation providesadirect
appraisal of erection realities, in contrast to theallowable-stressapproach based on factored design
Proceedingnowto rearrangethetermsin Equation 20.1, wend that


1 +


1 +
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TheERFisnowdened as
that is, thenominal strength value, S, of themember divided by itsnominal forcevalue, F. Thus,
for erection structural integrity or reliability to bemaintained, it isnecessary that
1 +
20.19 MinimumErectionRatingFactors
In view of possibleerrorsin (1) theassumed weight of permanent structural components, (2) the
assumed weight and positioningof erection equipment, and (3) themathematical modelsassumed
for purposesof erection structural analysis, it isreasonableto assumethat theactual member force
for agiven erection condition may exceed thecomputed forcevalueby asmuch as10%; that is, it is
reasonableto takeF/F asequal to 0.10.
For tension members, uncertainties in (1) the area of the cross-section, (2) the strength of the
material, and (3) themember workmanship, indicatethat theactual member strength may beup
to 15% lessthan thecomputed value; that is, S/S can reasonably betaken asequal to 0.15. The
additional uncertaintiesassociatedwithcompressionmember strengthsuggest that S/S betakenas
0.25for thosemembers. Placingthesevaluesinto Equation 20.4, weobtain thefollowingminimum
Tension members: ERF
= (1 +0.10)/(1 0.15)
= 1.294, say 1.30
Compression members: ERF
= (1 +0.10)/(1 0.25)
= 1.467, say 1.45
Theproper interpretationof theseexpressionsisthat if, for agiventension(compression) member,
theERFiscalculatedas1.30(1.45) or more, themember canbedeclaredsafefor theparticular erection
condition. Notethat higher, or lower, valuesof erection ratingfactorsmay beselected if conditions
Theminimum ERFsdetermined asindicated arebased on experienceand judgment, guided by
analysisandtest results. Theydonot reect anyspecicprobabilitiesof failureandthusarenot based
on theconcept of an acceptablerisk of failure, which might beconsidered thekeytoatotallyrational
approach to structural safety. This possible shortcoming in the ERF procedure might be at least
partially overcomeby evaluating theparameters F/F and S/S on a statistical basis; however,
thiswould involveaconsiderableeffort, and it might not even producesignicant results.
It isimportant to recognizethat theERFprocedurefor determiningerection strength adequacy is
baseddirectlyon fundamental strengthandstabilitycriteria, rather than beingonlyindirectlyrelated
to such criteriathrough themedium of adesign specication. Thus, theproceduregivesuniform
resultsfor theerection ratingof framed structural membersirrespectiveof thespecication that was
used to design themembers. Obviously, theend useof thecompleted structureisirrelevant to its
strength adequacy duringtheerection congurations, and thereforethedesign specication should
not bebrought into thepictureasthebasisfor erection appraisal.
Experience with application of the ERF procedure to long-span truss bridges has shown that it
placestheerection engineer in much better contact with thephysical signicanceof theanalysisthan
can be obtained by using the factored design stress procedure. Further, the ERF procedure takes
account of secondary stresses, which havegenerally been neglected in erection stressanalysis.
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AlthoughtheERFprocedurewaspreparedfor applicationtotrussbridgemembers, thesimplegov-
erningstructural principleset forth by Equation 20.1could readily beapplied to bridgecomponents
of any type.
20.20 Decienciesof Typical ConstructionProcedure
At thisstageof thereviewit isappropriatetobringforwardakeyproblemin therealmof bridgecon-
struction engineering: thestrongtendency for construction proceduredrawingsto beinsufciently
clear, and for step-by-step instructionsto beeither lackingor lessthan denitive. Asaresult of these
decienciesit isnot uncommon to nd thecontractorsshop and eld evolutionsto begoingalong
under somethinglessthan suitablecontrol.
Shopandeldoperationspersonnel whoareinapositiontospeakfranklytoconstructionengineers
will sometimeslet them know that proceduredrawingsand instructionsoften need to beclaried
and upgraded. Thisisapervasiveproblem, and it resultsfromtwo primecauses: (1) thefabrication
and erection engineersresponsiblefor drawingsand instructionsdo not haveadequateon-the-job
experience, and (2) they are not sufciently skilled in the art of setting forth on the documents,
clearly and concisely, exactly what isto bedoneby theoperationsforcesand, sometimesof equal
importance, what isnot to bedone.
Thismatter of clear and conciseconstruction proceduredrawingsand instructionsmay appear to
beapedestrian matter, but it isdecidedly not. It isakeyissueof utmost importancetothesuccessof
steel bridgeconstruction.
20.21 ShopandFieldLiaisonbyConstructionEngineers
In addition to the need for well-prepared construction procedure drawings and instructions, it
is essential for the staff engineers carrying out construction engineering to set up good working
relationswith theshop and eld production forces, and to visit thework sitesand establish effective
communication with thepersonnel responsiblefor accomplishingwhat isshown on thedocuments
Construction engineersshouldrevieweachprojectedoperation in detail withthework forces, and
upgradetheproceduredrawingsand instructionsasnecessary, asthework goesforward. Further,
engineersshould bepresent at thework sitesduring critical stagesof fabrication and erection. As
acomponent of thesesitevisits, theengineersshould organizespecial meetingsof key production
personnel to go over critical operationsin detailcompletewith slidesand blackboard asneeded
thereby providing thework forceswith opportunitiesto ask questionsand discussproceduresand
potential problems, and providingengineerstheopportunity to determinehowwell thework forces
understand theoperationsto becarried out.
This matter of liaison between the ofce and the work siteslike the preceding issue of clear
construction procedure documentsmay appear to be somewhat prosaic; again, however, it isa
matter of paramount importance. Failure to attend to these two key issues constitutes a serious
problem in steel bridge construction, and opens the door to high costs and delays, and even to
erection accidents.
20.22 ConstructionPracticesandSpecicationsTheFuture
Themany existing differencesof opinion and proceduresin respect to proper governanceof steel-
work fabrication and erection for major steel bridges raises the question: How do proper bridge
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FIGURE20.13: Visitingtheworksite. It isof rst-order importancefor bridgeconstructionengineers
to visit thesiteregularly and confer with thejob superintendent and hisforemen regardingpractical
considerations. Construction engineershavemuch to learn from thework forcesin shop and eld,
and viceversa. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
construction guidelinescomeinto existenceand nd their way into practiceand into bridgespeci-
cations?Lookingback over theperiod roughly from 1900to 1975, wend that themajor steelwork
construction companiesin theU.S. developed and maintained competent engineeringdepartments
that planned and engineered largebridges (and smaller ones as well) through thefabrication and
erection processeswith ahigh degreeof prociency. Traditionally, thesteelwork contractorsengi-
neers worked in cooperation with design-ofce engineers to develop the full range of bridgework
technical factors, includingconstruction proceduresand practices.
However, timeshavechangedduringthelast twodecades; since1970smajor steel bridgecontractors
haveall but disappeared in theU.S., and further, very few bridgedesign ofceshaveon their staffs
engineersexperiencedin fabrication anderection engineering. Asaresult, construction-engineering
often receiveslessattention and effort than it needsand deserves, and thisisnot agood omen for the
futureof thedesign and construction of largebridgesin theU.S.
Bridgeconstruction engineeringisnot asubject that isor can betaught in theclassroom; it must
belearned on thejob with major steelwork contractors. Thebest routefor an aspiringyoungcon-
struction engineer is to spend signicant amounts of time in the fabricating shop and at the job
site, interspersed with timedoingconstruction-engineeringtechnical work in theofce. It hasbeen
pointed out previously that although construction engineering and design engineering arerelated,
they constitute different practices and require diverse backgrounds and experience. Design engi-
neeringcanessentiallybelearnedinthedesignofce; constructionengineering, however, cannotit
requiresabackground of experienceat work sites. Such experience, it may benoted, isvaluablealso
for design engineers; however, it isnot asnecessary for themasit isfor construction engineers.
The training of future steelwork construction engineers in the U.S. will be handicapped by the
demiseof the Big Two steelwork contractorsin the1970s. Regrettably, it appearsthat surviving
steelworkcontractorsintheU.S. generallydonot havetheresourcesfor supportingstrongengineering
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departments, andsothereissomequestionastowherethenext generationof steel bridgeconstruction
engineersin theU.S. will becomingfrom.
20.23 ConcludingComments
In closing this review of steel bridge construction it is appropriate to quote from the work of an
illustriousBritish engineer, teacher, and author, thelateSir Alfred Pugsley [14] :
Afurther crop of [ bridge] accidentsaroselast century fromoverloadingby trafcof
variouskinds, but aswehaveseen, engineerstoday concentratemuch of their effort to
ensurethat amarginof strengthisprovidedagainst thiseventuality. But thereisonetype
of collapsethat occursalmost asfrequently today asit hasover thecenturies: collapseat
alatestageof erection.
Theerection of abridgehasalwayspresented itsspecial perilsand, in spiteof ever-
increasingcareover thecenturies, fewgreat bridgeshavebeen built without lossof life.
Quite apart from the vagaries of human error, with nearly all bridges there comes a
critical time near completion when the success of the bridge hinges on some special
operation. Amongsuch are. . . thettingof alast section . . . in asteel arch, theinsertion
of theclosingcentral [ members] inacantilever bridge, andtheliftingof theroadwaydeck
[ structure] intopositiononasuspensionbridge. Andtherehavebeenmajor accidentsin
manysuch cases. It maybewondered why, if such critical circumstancesarewell known
to arise, adequate care is not taken to prevent an accident. Special care is of course
taken, but there are often reasons why there may still be a slip betwixt cup and lip.
Such operationscommonly involveunusually closecooperation between constructors
and designers, and between every gradeof staff, from thelaborersto thedesignersand
directorsconcerned; andthismayput astrain on thedesign skill, on detailedinspection,
and on practical leadership that isenough to exhaust even aBrunel.
In such circumstances it does well to . . . recall [ the] dictum . . . that it is essential
not to havefaith in human nature. Such faith isarecent heresy and avery disastrous
one. Onemust relyheavilyon thelessonsof past experiencein theprofession. Someof
thisexperienceisembodied in professional papersdescribingerection processes, often
(and particularly to young engineers) supercially uninteresting. Someiscrystallized
in organizational habits, such astheappointment of resident engineersfrom both the
contracting and [ design] sides. And somein precautionsI havemyself endeavored to
list . . . .
It isan easy matter to list such precautionsand warnings, but quiteanother for the
senior engineersresponsiblefor thecompletion of abridgetostand their ground in real
life. This is an area of our subject that depends in a very real sense on the personal
qualitiesof bridgeengineers. . . . At bottom, thesafety of our bridgesdependsheavily
upon theintegrity of our engineers, particularly theleadingones.
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20.24 FurtherIllustrationsofBridgesUnderConstruction, Show-
FIGURE 20.14: Royal Albert Bridge across River Tamar, Saltash, England, 1857. The two 455-ft
(139-m) main spans, each weighing 1060 tons, wereconstructed on shore, oated out on pairsof
barges, and hoisted about 100 ft (30 m) to their nal position using hydraulic jacks. Pier masonry
wasbuilt up after each 3-ft (1-m) lift.
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FIGURE20.15: EadsBridgeacrosstheMississippi River, St. Louis, Mo., 1873. Therst important
metal arch bridgein theU.S., supported by four planesof hingelesstrussed archeshavingchrome-
steel tubular chords. Spans are502-520-502 ft (153-158-153 m). During erection, arch ribs were
tied back by cablespassingover temporary towersbuilt on thepiers. Arch ribswerepacked in iceto
effect closure.
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FIGURE20.16: Glasgow(Missouri) railwaytrussbridge, 1879. Erectiononfull supportingfalsework
was commonplace in the 19th century. The worlds rst all-steel bridge, with ve 315-ft (96-m)
through-trusssimplespans, crossingtheMissouri River.
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FIGURE20.17: Niagara River railway cantilever truss bridge, near Niagara Falls, New York 1883.
Massivewood erection traveler constructed sidespan on falsework, then cantilevered half of main
span to midspan. Erection of other half of bridgewassimilar. First modern-typecantilever bridge,
with 470-ft (143-m) clear main span havinga120-ft (37-m) center suspended span.
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FIGURE20.18: Construction of monumental Forth Bridge, Scotland, 1888. Numeroussmall mov-
ableboomswereused, alongwith erection travelersfor cantileveringthetwo 1710-ft (521-m) main
spans. Themain compression membersaretubes12 ft (3.65 m) in diameter; many other members
arealsotubular. Total steelwork weight is51,000tons. Recordsarenot clear regardingsuchessentials
ascamberingand eld ttingof individual membersin thisheavily redundant railway bridge. The
Forth isarguably theworldsgreatest steel structure.
FIGURE20.19: PecosRiver railway viaduct, Texas, 1892. Erection by massivesteam-powered wood
traveler havingmany setsof fallsand very longreach. Cantilever-trussmain span has185-ft (56-m)
clear opening.
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FIGURE20.20: Raising of suspended span, Carquinez Strait Bridge, California, 1927. The433-ft
(132-m) suspended span, weighing 650 tons, was raised into position in 35 min., driven by four
counterweight boxeshavingatotal weight of 740tons.
FIGURE 20.21: First Cooper River cantilever bridge, Charleston, S.C., 1929. Erection travelers
constructed 450-ft (137-m) side spans on falsework, then went on to erect 1050-ft (320-m) main
span (including437.5-ft [ 133-m] suspended span) by cantileveringto midspan.
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FIGURE20.22: Erectingsouth tower of Golden GateBridge, San Francisco, 1935. Acreeper traveler
with two90-ft (27-m) boomserectsatier of tower cellsfor each leg, then isjumped tothetop of that
tier andproceedstoerect thenext tier. Thetower legsare90ft (27m) center-to-center and690ft (210
m) high. When thetraveler completed thenorth tower (in background) it erected aChicago boom
onthewest tower leg, whichdismantledthecreeper, erectedtower-topbracing, anderectedtwosmall
derricks(oneshown) to servicecableerection. Each tower contains22,200tonsof steelwork.
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FIGURE20.23: Balanced-cantilever erection, Governor O.K. Allenrailway/highwaycantilever bridge,
Baton Rouge, La., 1939. First useof longbalanced-cantilever erection in theU.S. On each pier 650
ft (198m) of steelwork, about 4000tons, wasbalanced on the40-ft (12-m) baseformed by asloping
falsework bent. The compression load at the top of the falsework bent was measured at frequent
intervals and adjusted by positioning a counterweight car running at bottom-chord level. The
main spansare848-650-848 ft (258-198-258 m); 650 ft span shown. (Courtesy of Bethlehem Steel
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FIGURE 20.24: Tower erection, second Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Washington, 1949. This bridge
replaced rst TacomaNarrowsbridge, which blewdown in a40-mph (18-m/sec) wind in 1940. The
tower legsare60ft (18m) on centersand 462ft (141m) high. Thecreeper traveler isshown erecting
thewest tower, in background. On theeast tower, thecreeper erected a Chicago boom at thetop
of thesouth leg; thisboom dismantled thecreeper, then erected thetower-top bracingand astifeg
derrick, which proceeded to dismantletheChicago boom. Thetower manhoist can beseen at the
second-from-topmost landingplatform. Rivetingcagesareapproachingthetop of thetower. Note
tower-base erection kneebraces, required to ensure tower stability in free-standing condition (see
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FIGURE20.25: Aerial spinning of parallel-wire main cables, second Tacoma Narrows suspension
bridge, Washington, 1949. Eachmaincableconsistsof 8702parallel galvanizedhigh-strengthwiresof
0.196-in. (4.98-mm) diameter, laidupas19strandsof mostly460wireseach. Followingcompaction
thecablebecameasolid round massof wireswith adiameter of 20-1/4in. (514mm).
Figure20.25a Tramwaystartsacrossfromeast anchoragecarryingtwowireloops. Three460-wirestrandshavebeen
spun, with two moreunder construction. Tramway spinningwheelspull wireloopsacrossthethreespansfrom east
anchorageto west anchorage. Suspended footbridgesprovideaccessto cables. Spinninggoeson 24hoursper day.
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Figure20.25b Tramway arrivesat west anchorage. Wireloopsshown in Figure20.25aareremoved from spinning
wheelsand placed around strand shoesat west anchorage. Thistramway then returnsempty to east anchorage, while
tramwayfor other leg of endlesshaulingropebringstwowireloopsacrossfor secondstrandthat isunder construction
for thiscable.
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Figure20.26a Erection of individual wireloops.
Figure20.26b Adjustment of individual wireloops.
FIGURE 20.26: Cable-spinning procedure for constructing suspension bridge parallel-wire main
cables, showing detailsof aerial spinning method for forming individual 5-mm wiresinto strands
containing400to500wires. EachwireloopiserectedasshowninFigure20.26a(refer toFigure20.25),
then adjusted to thecorrect sag asshown in Figure20.26b. Each completed strand isbanded with
tape, then adjusted to thecorrect sagin each span. With all strandsin place, they arecompacted to
formasolid round homogeneousmassof wires. Theaerial spinningmethod wasdeveloped by John
Roeblingin themid-19th century.
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FIGURE20.27: Erection of suspendeddeck steelwork, secondTacomaNarrowsBridge, Washington,
1950. TheChicago boom on thetower raisesdeck steelwork componentsto deck level, wherethey
aretransported to deck travelersby material cars. Each trussdoublepanel isconnected at top-chord
level to previously erected trusses, and left open at bottom-chord level to permit temporary upward
deck curvature, which resultsfromthepartial loadingcondition of themain suspension cables. The
main span (at right) is2800ft (853m), and sidespansare1100ft (335m). Thestiffeningtrussesare
33ft (10m) deep and 60ft (18m) on centers. Tower-basekneebraces(seeFigure20.24) showclearly
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FIGURE20.28: Movingdeck traveler forward, second TacomaNarrowsBridge, Washington, 1950.
Thetraveler pulling-fallsleadlinepassesaroundthesheavebeamsat theforwardendof thestringers,
and isattached to thefront of thematerial car (at left). Thematerial car ispulled back toward the
tower, advancingthetraveler two panelsto itsnewposition at theend of thedeck steelwork. Arrows
show successive positions of material car. (a) Traveler at star of move, (b) traveler advanced one
panel, and (c) traveler at end of move.
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FIGURE20.29: Erectingclosinggirder sectionsof Passaic River Bridge, NewJersey Turnpike, 1951.
Hugedouble-boomtravelers, eachweighing270tons, erect closingplategirdersof the375-ft (114-m)
main span. Theclosing girdersare14 ft (4.3 m) deep and 115 ft (35 m) long and weigh 146 tons
each. Sidewiseentry wasrequired (asshown) becauseof long projecting splicematerial. Longitu-
dinal motion wasprovided at onepier, wheregirderswerejacked to effect closure. Closinggirders
werelaterally stablewithout oor steel ll-in, such that derrick fallscould bereleased immediately.
(Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.30: Floating-in erection of atrussspan, rst ChesapeakeBay Bridge, Maryland, 1951.
Erected300-ft (91-m) deck-trussspansformerectiondock, providingaworkplatformfor twoderrick
travelers. Apermanent deck-trussspan servesasafalsework trusssupported on bargesand isshown
carrying the470-ft (143-m) anchor arm of thethrough-cantilever truss. Thisspan isoated to its
permanent position, then landed onto its piers by ballasting the barges. (a) Float leaves erection
dock, and (b) oat arrivesat permanent position. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
FIGURE20.31: Floating-in erection of atrussspan, rst ChesapeakeBay Bridge, Maryland, 1952. A
480-ft (146-m) trussspan, weighing850tons, supportedonfalseworkconsistingof apermanent deck-
trussspan alongwith temporary members, isbeingoated-in for landingonto itspiers. Suspension
bridgecablesareunder construction in background. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.32: Erection of atrussspan by hoisting, rst ChesapeakeBay Bridge, Maryland, 1952.
A 360-ft (110-m) truss span is oated into position on barges and picked clear using four sets of
lifting falls. Suspension bridgedeck is under construction at right. (Courtesy of Bethlehem Steel
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FIGURE20.33: Erectionof suspensionbridgedeck structure, rst ChesapeakeBayBridge, Maryland,
1952. A typical four-panel through-trussdeck section, weighing99 tons, hasbeen picked from the
barge and is being raised into position using four sets of lifting falls attached to main suspension
cables. Theclosingdeck section ison thebarge, ready to go up next. (Courtesy of Bethlehem Steel
FIGURE 20.34: Greater New Orleans cantilever bridge, Louisiana, 1957. Tall double-boom deck
travelers started at ends of main bridge and erected anchor spans on falsework, then the 1575-ft
(480-m) main span by cantileveringto midspan. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.35: Tower erection, second DelawareMemorial Bridge, Wilmington, Del., 1966. The
tower erection traveler hasreached thetopmost erecting position and swingsinto placethe23-ton
closingtop-strut section. Thetower legswerejacked apart about 2in. (50mm) to provideentering
clearance. Thetraveler jumpingbeamsarein thetopmost workingposition, abovethecablesaddles.
The tower steelwork is about 418 ft (127 m) high. Cable anchorage pier is under construction at
right. First DelawareMemorial Bridge(1951) isat left. Themain span of both bridgesis2150ft (655
m). (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.36: Erectingorthotropic-platedeckingpanel, Poplar Street Bridge, St. Louis, Mo., 1967.
A ve-span, 2165-ft (660-m) continuousbox-girder bridge, main span 600 ft (183 m). Projecting
box ribsare5-1/217ft (1.75.2m) in cross-section, and deckingsection is2750ft (8.215.2
m). Decking sectionswereeld welded, whileall other connectionswereeld bolted. Box girders
arecantilevered to falsework bentsusingoverhead positioningtravelers (triangular structurejust
visibleabovedeck at left) for intermediatesupport. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.37: Erectionof parallel-wire-strand(PWS) cables, theNewport Bridgesuspensionspans,
Narragansett Bay, R.I., 1968. Bridgeengineeringhistorywasmadeat Newport withthedevelopment
and application of shop-fabricated parallel-wiresocketed strandsfor suspension bridgecables. Each
Newport cable was formed of seventy-six 61-wire PWS, about 4512 ft (1375 m) long. Individual
wiresare0.202in. (5.13mm) indiameter andarezinccoated. Parallel-wirecablescanbeconstructed
of PWSfaster and at lower cost than bytraditional air spinningof individual wires(seeFigures20.25
and 20.26). (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
Figure20.37a Aerial tramway tows PWSfrom west anchorage up side span, then on across other spans to east
anchorage. Strandsareabout 1-3/4in. (44mm) in diameter.
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Figure20.37b Cableformersmaintain strand alignment in cablesprior tocompaction. Each nished cableisabout
15-1/4in. (387mm) in diameter. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.38: Pipe-typeanchoragefor parallel-wire-strand(PWS) cables, theNewport Bridgesus-
pension spans, Narragansett Bay, R.I., 1967. Pipeanchoragesshown will beembedded in anchorage
concrete. Thesocketed end of each PWSispulled down itspipefromtheupper end, then seated and
shim-adjusted against theheavy bearing plateat thelower end. Thepipe-typeanchorageismuch
simpler and lesscostly than thestandard anchor-bar typeused with aerial-spun parallel-wirecables
(seeFigure20.25b). (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE 20.39: Manufacturing facility for production of shop-fabricated parallel-wire strands
(PWS). Prior to 1966, parallel-wire suspension bridge cables had to be constructed wire-by-wire
in theeld usingtheaerial spinningproceduredeveloped by John Roeblingin themid-19th century
(refer to Figures20.25 and 20.26). In theearly 1960samajor U.S. steelwork contractor originated
and developed aprocedurefor manufacturing and reeling parallel-wirestrands, asshown in these
patent drawings. APWScan contain up to 127wires(seeFigures20.45and 20.46). (a) Plan viewof
PWSfacility. Turntables11contain left-hand coilsof wireand turntables13contain right-hand
coils, such that wire cast is balanced in the formed strand. Fairleads 23 and 25 guide the wires
into half-layplates 27 and 29, followed by full layplates 31 and 32 whoseguideholes delineatethe
hexagonal shapeof nal strand 41. (b) Elevation viewof PWSfacility. Hexagonal die33containssix
spring-actuated rollersthat formthewiresintoregular-hexagon shape; and similar roller dies47, 49,
50, and 51 maintain thewiresin thisshapeasPWS41 ispulled alongby hexagonal dynamic clamp
53. The PWSis bound manually with plastic tape at about 3-ft (1-m) intervals as it passes along
between roller dies. ThePWSpassesacrossroller table163, then acrosstraversecarriage168, which
isoperated by traversemechanism 161 to direct thePWSproperly onto reel 159. Finally, thereeled
PWSismoved off-linefor socketing. Notethat wiremeasuring wheels(201) can beinstalled and
used for control of strand length.
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FIGURE20.40: Suspended deck steelwork erection, theNewport Bridgesuspension spans, Narra-
gansett Bay, R.I., 1968. Theclosingmainspan deck section isbeingraised into position by two cable
travelers, each madeup of apair of 36-in. (0.91-m) wide-angerolled beamsthat ridethecableson
wooden wheels. Theclosingsection is40-1/2ft (12m) longat top-chord level, 66ft (20m) wideand
16ft (5m) deep, and weighsabout 140tons. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.41: Erection of KansasCity Southern Railway box-girder bridge, near Redland, Okla.,
by launching, 1970. Thisnine-span continuousbox-girder bridgeis2110 ft (643 m) long, with a
main span of 330 ft (101 m). Box cross-section is11 14.9 ft (3.35 4.54 m). Thegirderswere
launched in two trains, onefrom thenorth end and onefrom thesouth end. A launchingnose
wasused to carry theleadingend of each girder train up onto theskidway supportsasthetrain was
pushed out onto successivepiers. Closurewasaccomplished at center of main span. (Courtesy of
BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
Figure20.41a Leadingend of north girder train movesacross250-ft (76-m) span 4, approachingpier 5. Main span
isto right of pier 5.
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Figure20.41b Launchingnoseridesup onto pier 5skidway units, removinggirder-train leading-end sag.
Figure20.41c Leadingend of north girder train isnowsupported on pier 5.
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Figure20.42a Typical assumederectionloadingof box-girder webpanelsincombinedmoment, shear, andtransverse
Figure20.42b Launch of north girder train frompier 4to pier 5.
Figure20.42c Negative-moment envelopesoccurringsimultaneouslywith reaction, for launch of north girder train
to pier 5.
FIGURE20.42: Erection strengtheningto withstand launching, KansasCity Southern Railway box-
girder bridge, near Redland, Okla. (seeFigure20.41).
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FIGURE20.43: Erection of west arch span of twin-arch Hernando deSoto Bridge, Memphis, Tenn.,
1972. Thetwo900-ft (274-m) continuous-trusstied-archspanswereerectedbyahigh-tower derrick
boat incorporatingapair of barges. West-arch steelwork (shown) wascantilevered to midspan over
two pile-supported falsework bents. Projectingeast-arch steelwork (at right) wasthen cantilevered
to midspan (without falsework) and closed with falsework-supported other half-arch. (Courtesy of
BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.44: Closureof east sidespan, CommodoreJohn Barry cantilever trussbridge, Chester,
Pa., 1973. A high-tower derrick boat (in background) started erection of trussesat both main piers,
supported on falsework; then erected top-chord travelers for main and side spans. The sidespan
traveler carried steelwork erection to closure, asshown, and thefalsework bent wasthen removed.
Themainspan traveler then cantileveredthesteelwork (without falsework) tomidspan, concurrently
witherectionbythewest-half mainspantraveler, andthetrusseswereclosedat midspan. Commodore
Barry hasa1644-ft (501-m) main span, thelongest cantilever span in theU.S., and 822-ft (251-m)
sidespans. (Courtesy of BethlehemSteel Corporation.)
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FIGURE20.45: Reel of parallel-wirestrand (PWS), Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge, Kobe, Japan,
1994. Each socketed PWSismadeup of 127 0.206-in. (5.23-mm) wires, is13,360ft (4073m) long,
and weighs96 tons. Plastic-tapebindingssecurethestrand wiresat 1-m intervals. Socketscan be
seen on right sideof reel. ThesePWSarethelongest and heaviest ever manufactured. (Courtesy of
Nippon SteelKobeSteel.)
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FIGURE 20.46: Parallel-wire-strand main cable, Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge, Kobe, Japan,
1994. The main span is 6529 ft (1990 m), by far the worlds longest. The PWSat right is being
towed acrossthespans, supported on rollers. Thecompleted cableismadeup of 290PWS, making
atotal of 36,830wires, and hasadiameter of 44.2in. (1122mm) followingcompactionthelargest
bridgecablesbuilt to date. Each 127-wirePWSisabout 2-3/8 in. (60 mm) in diameter. (Courtesy
of Nippon SteelKobeSteel.)
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FIGURE20.47: Artistsrenderingof proposed MessinaStrait suspension bridge, Italy. TheMessina
Strait crossing has been under discussion sinceabout 1850, under investigation sinceabout 1950,
and under active design since about 1980. The enormous bridge shown would connect Sicily to
mainland Italy with asinglespan of 10,827ft (3300m). Towersare1250ft (380m) high. Thebridge
construction problems for such a span will be tremendously challenging. (Courtesy of Stretto di
Messina, S.p.A.)
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Worksof Civil Engineering Construction, 6th ed. (commonly known as ICEConditionsof
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[ 12] Holgate, H., Kerry, J.G.G., and Galbraith, J. 1908. Royal Commission Quebec BridgeInquiry
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c 1999by CRCPressLLC