Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Atorod Azizinamini

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

Third Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang

Fourth Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

Fifth Advisor's Name

Yimin Zhu


Skew Bridges, Cross-frames, I-girder, Steel, Detailing, Construction, Response, Lack-of-fit, Dead Loads

Date of Defense



The effects of support in steel bridges can present significant challenges during the construction. The tendency of girders to twist or layovers during the construction can present a particularly challenging problem regarding detailing cross-frames that provide bracing to steel girders. Methods of detailing cross-frames have been investigated in the past to identify some of the issues related to the behavior of straight and skewed steel bridges. However, the absence of a complete and simplified design approach has led to disputes between stakeholders, costly repairs and delays in the construction.

The main objective of this research is to develop a complete and simplified design approach considering construction, fabrication and detailing of skewed bridges. This objective is achieved by comparing different detailing methods, understanding the mechanism by which skew effects develop in steel bridges, recommending simplified methods of analysis to evaluate them, and developing a complete and simplified design procedure for skew bridges.

Girder layovers, flange lateral bending stress, cross-frame forces, component of vertical deflections, component of vertical reactions and lateral reactions or lateral displacements are affected by detailing methods and are referred as lack-of-fit effects. The main conclusion of this research is that lack-of-fit effects for the Final Fit detailing method at the steel dead load stage are equal and opposite to the lack-of-fit effects for the Erected Fit detailing method at the total dead load stage. This conclusion has helped using 2D grid analyses for estimating these lack-of-fit effects for different detailing methods.

3D erection simulations are developed for estimating fit-up forces required to attach the cross-frames to girders. The maximum fit-up force estimated from the 2D grid analysis shows a reasonable agreement with the one obtained from the erection simulations. The erection sequence that reduces the maximum fit-up force is also found by erection simulations.

The line girder analysis is recommended for calculating cambers for the Final Fit detailing method. A combination of line girder analysis and 2D grid analysis is recommended for calculating cambers for the Erected Fit detailing method. Finally, flowcharts are developed that facilitate the selection of a detailing method and show the necessary design checks.





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