Development of a Precast UHPC Hollow Stem Abutment for Accelerated Bridge Construction

  • Anisha Karki (Iowa State University)
  • Sri Sritharan (Iowa State University)
  • Charles Sikorsky (Iowa State University)


Various Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques, such as structural precast elements or complete modular bridge systems, are being developed and implemented throughout the United States to reduce on-site construction time and improve mobility. One of the major constraints of ABC is that precast elements can be very large and need to be broken into transportable pieces. In addition, larger cranes are required for assembly on-site. In this work, components fabricated using ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) are investigated. The ordinary standard bridge seat type abutment, typical in the Caltrans inventory, is used as a prototype. By using UHPC, the sectional sizes have been reduced, making it possible for the abutment to be transported to the site as a single large piece. The abutment stem proposed is a hollow section with a thickness of 6 inches and has corbels to provide the seat width of 36 inches required by Caltrans Seismic Design Criteria (SDC). Also included is a cast-in-place (CIP) or precast back wall on top of the stem wall. The precast abutment cap will be designed with corrugated metal pipe sockets, which shall be filled with UHPC CIP closure pours to ensure fixed connections with steel H piles. The investigation incorporates service, strength, and extreme loads. The performance of the new system and its components will be validated by a half-scale experimental test unit. It is anticipated that Caltrans will implement this detail in constructing two-lane standard ordinary bridges with two or three spans.

Keywords: accelerated bridge construction, seat-type abutment, UHPC abutment components, ordinary standard bridge

How to Cite:

Karki, A., Sritharan, S. & Sikorsky, C., (2023) “Development of a Precast UHPC Hollow Stem Abutment for Accelerated Bridge Construction”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete 3(1): 136. doi:

Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

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Published on
04 Jun 2023
Peer Reviewed