Report No.: CCEER-03-8

Title: Static and Dynamic Performance of RC Bridge Bents with Architectural-Flared Columns

Authors: Suhas Chandane, David H Sanders, Mehdi Saiidi.

Date: November 2003

Sponsoring Agency: California Department of Transportation (CalTrans)

Performing Organization:
Department of Civil Engineering/258
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557


A study was performed on architectural-flared column bents. The objective was to evaluate the static and dynamic performance of the bents. The unique aspect of the bents is a gap at the top of the flares to separate the flares from contributing structurally. The project concentrated on the effect of the gap width at the top of the column section. The study included both experimental and analytical investigations. Two specimens were tested statically that had been partially tested on a shake table in a previous study. The objective of the static tests was to evaluate the performances of the bents till failure. One specimen had columns that were flexure dominated while the other had shear dominated columns. Each column had same reinforcement except for the flare transverse reinforcement. A newly constructed specimen was tested to evaluate the performance of the bents with twice the gap that had been used in the previous study. The flare had the minimum longitudinal and transverse reinforcement. A nonlinear finite element analysis program DIANA was used to perform the analytical study. The results were also compared with the results of programs like RCMC, RC-Shake and wFRAME. The performances of the specimens were compared. The behavior of the specimens during testing was discussed. Design recommendations were developed.