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Associate Instructor: M. Moratti
T.A.: Volkan Özsaraç

Bridge Structures (a.a. 2019/20)


Lectures (L)

L1) Introduction: evolution of design and construction practise
L2) Bridge types: simply supported and continuous beam, truss, arch, stayed and suspension bridges
L3) Loads on bridges: gravity, traffic, wind, earthquakes, collisions, currents, temperature
L4) Deck considerations: solution of indeterminate beams, influence lines and surfaces
L5) Deck considerations: pre-stressed beams, concrete box, steel-concrete composite
L6) Design of piers, foundations, bearings and joints
L7) Seismic design of bridges
L8) Design of isolated bridges
L9) Maintenance and degradation, assessment and strengthening; Roads systems, damage scenarios, prioritization schemes
L10) Presentation and discussion of group projects

Tutorials (T)

(ref. L 1, 2 and 3)
T1) Review of influence lines, flexural analysis of prestressed concrete and steel-concrete sections
T2) Collection of discussion HA 1, presentation of HA 2, Examples of solutions of bridge design

(ref. L 4, 5 and 6)
T3) Analysis tools
T4) Design of a bridge deck: flexure, shear, torsion, pre- and post-tensioning, steel-to-concrete connection Collection and discussion of HA 2, presentation of group project

T5) Design of foundation and pier systems
T6) Design of bearings and expansion joints

(ref. L 7 and 8)
T7) Examples of construction methods
T8) Case studies on degradation, assessment and strengthening

(ref. L 9 and 10)
T9) Case studies on seismic design, assessment and strengthening
T10) Summary of the course, Q&A, collection of group projects

Homework assignments (HA)

1) Structural analysis: computation of influence lines, flexural analysis of prestressed concrete and steel-concrete composite sections
2) Conceptual design of a bridge:  definition of constraints, choice of a structural type, load analysis, preliminary dimensioning of elements (Groups of 2)

Project Description

Design of a standard highway bridge (in groups of students)
1) Detailed design of superstructure components: deck analysis (flexure, shear and torsion)
2) Detailed design of substructure components: pier, foundations, bearing, joints


Course Objective

To equip the students with a thorough understanding of design process of bridges, starting from conceptual design to detailed design of bridge components.
To help the student understand the load flow mechanism of various applied loads, such as truck load, impact, horizontal braking/centrifugal forces, wind and seismic loads on bridges.

Course Content

Historical background of bridges and types. Review of principles reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete, steel-concrete composite structures. Design process. Construction methods. Review of applicable design codes. Structural analysis tools. Seismic performance and retrofit technologies. Investigation of bridge collapses and damages.

Course Learning Outcomes

The students are expected to be able to understand the load-carrying capacity of various types of bridges, upon learning the structural responses to different kinds of loads. They should be able to design standard short and medium span bridges, with confidence using existing codes of practice at the end of the course.



Lectures (L, 30 hours)

1) November 26, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
2) November 27, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
3) November 28, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
4) December 3, 9-12, Aula 1-17, IUSS
5) December 4, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
6) December 5, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
7) December 10, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
8) December 11, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
9) December 17, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS
10) December 18, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS

Tutorials (T, 30 hours)

1) November 26, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
2) November 29, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
3) December 4, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
4) December 5, 15-18, Aula 1-15, IUSS
5) December 10, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
6) December 11, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
7) December 12, 15-18, Sala del Camino,  IUSS
8) December 17, 15-18, BIBLIOTECA
9) December 18, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS
10) December 19, 15-18, Sala del Camino, IUSS

Homework assignments (HA)

1) November 26 due December 29
2) December 29 due December 5


December 5 due December 20



  • Bridge Design: Concepts and Analysis, António J. Reis and José J. Oliveira Pedro / John Wiley & Sons 2019
  • The Design of Prestressed Concrete Bridges: Concepts and Principles, Robert Benaim / Taylor & Francis 2008
  • Seismic Design and Retrofit of Bridges, M. J. N. Priestley, F. Seible and G. M. Calvi / John Wiley & Sons 1996
  • Displacement-based seismic design of structures, M. J. N. Priestley, G. M. Calvi and Mervyn J. Kowalsky / IUSS Press 2007
  • Design of Highway Bridges: An LRFD Approach, Richard M. Barker, Jay A. Puckett / John Wiley & Sons 2013
  • Prestressed Concrete Design to Eurocodes, Prabhakara Bhatt / Taylor & Francis 2011
  • Design of steel-concrete composite bridges to Eurocodes, Ioannis Vayas and Aristidis Iliopoulos / Taylor & Francis 2014 
  • Steel-Concrete Composite Bridges: Designing with Eurocodes, David Collings / ICE Publishing 2013


December 20, 9-12, Sala del Camino, IUSS

Gian Michele Calvi

Professore Ordinario di Tecnica delle costruzioni


Tipologia corso : Caratterizzante

Curriculum : Ingegneria Sismica e Sismologia

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2019-2020

Luogo : Sala del Camino, aule