Incorporating precast concrete components in bridge piers has the potential to accelerate bridge construction and reduce the negative impacts that construction operations have on traffic flow. As part of this project, methodologies were developed to design economical and safe bridge piers out of precast concrete components. This research developed force-based and displacement-based procedures for the design of both cast-in-place emulation and hybrid precast concrete piers. The design procedures were developed so that they require no nonlinear analysis making them practical for use in a design office.
The expected level of damage to piers designed using the proposed procedures was estimated. The evaluation considered three types of damage to the columns of a pier: cover concrete spalling, longitudinal reinforcing bar buckling, and fracture of the longitudinal reinforcing bars. Both the force-based and displacement-based design procedures were found to produce bridge designs expected to experience an acceptable amount of damage in a design-level earthquake.