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# Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

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## Determination of design moments in bridges

constructed by balanced cantilever method
H.-G. Kwak *, J.-K. Son
Department of Civil Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,
373-1 Kusong-dong, Yusong-gu, Taejon 305-701, South Korea

Received 26 March 2001; received in revised form 21 August 2001; accepted 30 October 2001

Abstract

This paper introduces an equation to calculate the design moments in reinforced concrete (RC) bridges constructed by the balanced
cantilever method. Through time-dependent analyses of RC bridges, considering the construction sequence and creep deformation
of concrete, structural responses related to the member forces are reviewed. On the basis of the compatibility condition at every
construction stage, a basic equation which can describe the moment variation with time in the balanced cantilever construction is
derived. It is then extended to take into account the moment variation according to changes in construction steps. By using the
introduced relation, the design moment and its variation over time can easily be obtained with only the elastic analysis results, and
without additional time-dependent analyses considering the construction sequences. In addition, the design moments determined by
the introduced equation are compared with the results from a rigorous numerical analysis with the objective of establishing the
relative efficiencies of the introduced equation. Finally, a more reasonable guideline for the determination of design moments is
proposed.  2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Balanced cantilever method; RC bridges; Construction sequence; Creep; Design moment

## 1. Introduction and over waterways where falsework would not only be

expensive but also a hazard.
In accordance with the development of industrial However, the design and analysis of bridges con-
society and global economic expansion, the construction structed by the balanced cantilever method (FCM)
of long-span bridges has increased. Moreover, the con- require the consideration of the internal moment redistri-
struction methods have undergone refinement, and they bution which takes place over the service life of a struc-
have been further developed to cover many special ture because of the time-dependent deformation of con-
cases, such as progressive construction of cantilever crete and changes in the structural system repeated
bridges and span-by-span construction of simply sup- during construction. This means that the analysis of
ported or continuous spans. Currently, among these con- bridges considering the construction sequence must be
struction methods, the balanced cantilever construction performed to preserve the safety and serviceability of the
of reinforced concrete box-girder bridges has been bridge. All the related bridge design codes [1,2] have
recognized as one of the most efficient methods of build- also mentioned the consideration of the internal moment
ing bridges without the need for falsework. This method redistribution due to creep and shrinkage of concrete
has great advantages over other kinds of construction, when the structural system is changed during construc-
particularly in urban areas where temporary shoring tion.
would disrupt traffic and service below, in deep gorges, Several studies have dealt with the general topics of
design and analysis of segmentally erected bridges,
while a few studies have been directed toward the analy-
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +82-42-869-3621; fax: +82-42-869- sis of the deflection and internal moment redistribution
3610. in segmental bridges [3–5]. Alfred and Nicholas 
E-mail address: khg@cais.kaist.ac.kr (H.-G. Kwak). investigated the time-dependent deformation of cantil-

0141-0296/02/\$ - see front matter  2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 1 4 1 - 0 2 9 6 ( 0 1 ) 0 0 1 2 8 - 6
640 H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

ever construction bridges both before and after closure, duced. Details to the analytical model can be found in
and Cruz et al.  introduced a nonlinear analysis previous papers [8,11,12].
method for the calculation of the ultimate strength of Balanced cantilever construction is the term used for
bridges. Articles on the design, analysis and construction when a phased construction of a bridge superstructure
of segmental bridges have been published by many starts from previously constructed piers cantilevering out
researchers, and detailed comparisons have been made to both sides. Each cantilevered part of the superstruc-
between analytical results and responses measured in ture is tied to a previous one by concreting a key segment
actual structures [7,8]. and post-tensioning tendons. It is thus incorporated into
Moreover, development of sophisticated computer the permanent continuous structure; consequently the
programs for the analysis of segmental bridges consider- internal moment is continuously changed according to
ing the time-dependent deformation of concrete has been the construction sequence and the changing structural
followed . Most analysis programs, however, have system. To review the structural response due to the
some limitations in wide use because of complexities in change in the construction sequence, three different
practical applications. Consequently, a simple formula cases of FCM 1, FCM 2 and FCM 3, shown in Fig. 1,
for estimating the internal moment redistribution due to are selected in this paper.
creep and shrinkage of concrete, which is appropriate for For the time-dependent analysis of bridges consider-
use by a design engineer in the primary design of ing the construction sequence, a five-span continuous
bridges, has been continuously required. Trost and Wolff bridge is selected as an example structure. This bridge
 introduced a simple formula which can simulate has a total length of 150 m with an equal span length
internal moment redistribution with a superposition of of 30 m, and maintains a prismatic box-girder section
the elastic moments occurring at each construction step. along the span length. The assumed material and sec-
A similar approach has been presented by the Prestressed tional properties are taken from a real bridge and are
Concrete Institute (PCI) and the Post-Tensioning Insti- summarized in Table 1. The creep deformation of con-
tute (PTI) on the basis of the force equilibrium and the crete is considered on the basis of the ACI creep with
rotation compatibility at the connecting point ; how- an ultimate creep coefficient of f⬁cr=2.35 .
ever, these formulas do not adequately address the As shown in Fig. 1, the time interval between each
changing structural system because of several simplify- construction step is assumed to be 50 days. FCM 1 is
ing assumptions adopted.
designed to describe the construction sequence in which
In this paper, a simple, but effective, formula is intro-
construction of all the cantilever parts of the superstruc-
duced to calculate the internal moment redistribution in
ture is finished first at the reference time t=0 day. The
segmental bridges after completion of construction. With
continuity of the far end spans and center span follows
previously developed computer programs [8,12,12],
at t=50 days, and then the construction of the superstruc-
many parametric studies for bridges erected by the bal-
ture is finally finished at t=100 days by concreting the
anced cantilever method are conducted, and correlation
key segments at the midspans of the second and fourth
studies between the numerical results obtained with
those obtained by the introduced formula are included spans. FCM 2 describes the continuity process from the
to verify the applicability of the formula. Finally, reason- far end spans to the center span, and FCM 3 the step-
able guidelines to determine the internal design by-step continuity of the proceeding spans from a far
moments, which are essential in selecting a proper initial end span. The corresponding bending moments at typical
section, are proposed. construction steps are shown in Figs. 2–4, where TS
(total structure) means that all the spans are constructed
at once at the reference time t=0 day.
2. Construction sequence analysis After construction of each cantilever part, the negative
moment at each pier reaches M=wl2/8=1160 (tonFm)
Every nonlinear analysis algorithm consists of four (l=30 m), and this value is maintained until the structural
basic steps: the formulation of the current stiffness system changes by the connection of an adjacent span.
matrix, the solution of the equilibrium equations for the The connection of an adjacent span, however, causes an
displacement increments, the stress determination of all elastic moment redistribution because the structural sys-
elements in the model, and the convergence check. Pre- tem moves from the cantilevered state to the over-
vious papers [8,11,12] presented an analytical model to hanging simply supported structure (see Fig. 1a). Never-
predict the time-dependent behavior of bridge structures. theless, there is no internal moment redistribution by
Experimental verification and correlation studies creep deformation of concrete in a span if the structural
between analytical and field testing results were conduc- system maintains the statically determinate structure. As
ted to verify the efficiency of the proposed numerical shown in Fig. 1, the statically indeterminate structure
model. The rigorous time-dependent analyses in this begins at t=100 days in all the structural systems (FCM
paper are performed with the analytical model intro- 1–3). Therefore, it is expected that the dead load bending
H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648 641

Fig. 1. Construction sequences in balanced cantilever bridges: (a) FCM 1; (b) FCM 2; (c) FCM 3.

Table 1
Material and sectional properties used in application

## AC rsc=rst WD f⬘c fsy ES

4.5 m2 0.62% 10.3 t/m 400 kg/cm2 4000 kg/cm2 2.1×106 kg/cm2

moments in the structures start the time-dependent cally determinate stage at t=100 days and for the initially
moment redistribution after t=100 days. completed five-span continuous structure (TS in Figs. 2–
Comparing the numerical results obtained in Figs. 2– 4); and (3) the final moments in the structure depend on
4, the following can be inferred: (1) the time-dependent the order that the joints are closed in the structures,
moment redistribution causes a reduction of negative which means that the magnitude of the moment redistri-
moments near the supports and an increase of positive bution due to concrete creep may depend on the con-
moments at the points of closure at the midspans; (2) struction sequence, even in balanced cantilever bridges.
the final moment at an arbitrary time t after completing Under dead load as originally built, elastic displace-
the construction converges to a value within the region ment and rotation at the cantilever tips occur. If the mid-
bounded by two moment envelopes for the final stati- span is not closed, these deformations increase over time
642 H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

## due to concrete creep without any increase in the internal

moment. On the other hand, as the central joints are
closed, the rotations at the cantilever tips are restrained
while introducing the restraint moments. Moreover, this
restraint moment causes a time-dependent shift or redis-
tribution of the internal force distribution in a span. If
the closure of the central joints is made at the reference
time t=0 day, then the final moments Mt will converge
with the elastic moment of the total structure (TS in Figs.
2–4). However, the example structure maintains the
statically determinate structure which does not cause
internal moment redistribution until t=100 days, so that
only the creep deformation after t=100 days, which is a
relatively small quantity of time, affects the time-depen-
dent redistribution of the internal moment. Therefore, the
moment distribution at time t represents a difference
Fig. 2. Moment redistribution in FCM 1. from that of the total structure. On particular, as shown
in Figs. 2–4, the difference is relatively large at the
internal spans. This means that the moment redistri-
bution caused in proportion to the elastic moment differ-
ence between the statically determinate state and the
five-span continuous structure will be concentrated at the
internal spans. Figure 5, which represents the creep
moment distribution of the FCM 1 bridge, shows that
the creep moments at the center span are about 3.5 times
larger for the negative moment and about 7.0 times
larger for the positive moment than those of the end
spans.
Figure 6 shows the final moment distribution of the
example structure constructed by FCM 1, FCM 2, and
FCM 3 at t=100 years. As this figure shows, the differ-
ence in construction steps does not have a great influence
on the final moment distributions, but there is remark-
able difference in the final moments between the initially
completed continuous bridge (TS in Figs. 2–4 and 6)
Fig. 3. Moment redistribution in FCM 2.
and the balanced cantilever bridges. Balanced cantilever
bridges represent relatively smaller values for the posi-
tive moments and larger values for the negative moments

Fig. 4. Moment redistribution in FCM 3. Fig. 5. Creep moment distribution of FCM 1 bridge.
H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648 643

## by the linear combination of the factored dead and live

load moments. Since the dead load moment depends on
the construction method because of the creep defor-
mation of concrete, determination of the dead load
moment through time-dependent analysis considering
the construction sequence must be accomplished to
obtain an exact design moment.
On the other hand, post-tensioning tendons (cantilever
tendons) may be installed to connect each segment dur-
ing construction, and the prestressing forces introduced
will also be redistributed from the cantilevered structural
system to the completed structural system due to con-
crete creep and the relaxation of tendons. However,
unlike the dead load from the self-weight of a structure
and the continuity tendons installed after completion of
construction, the cantilever tendons have a minor effect
Fig. 6. Internal moment distribution at t=100 years. on the internal moment redistribution, which is directly
related to the construction sequence . Thus the influ-
than those of a five-span continuous structure (see Figs. ence by cantilever tendons has been excluded in this
2–4 and 6). This difference is induced from no contri- paper while determining the dead load moment consider-
bution of the creep deformation of concrete up to t=100 ing the construction sequence.
days at which the structural system is changed to the The time-dependent behavior of a balanced cantilever
statically indeterminate state. From the results obtained bridge can be described using a double cantilever with
for the time-dependent behavior of balanced cantilever an open joint at the point B, as in Fig. 7. When the
bridges, it can be concluded that the prediction of more uniformly distributed load of q is applied on the struc-
exact positive and negative design moments requires the ture, the elastic deflection of d=ql4/8EI and the rotation
use of sophisticated time-dependent analysis programs angle of a=ql3/6EI occur at the ends of the cantilevers
[8,9,11,14], which can consider the moment variation (see Fig. 7b), where l and EI refer to the length of the
according to the construction sequence. To be familiar cantilever and the bending stiffness, respectively. If the
with those programs in practice, however, is time-con-
suming and involves many restrictions caused by com-
plexity and difficulty in use because the adopted algor-
ithms, theoretical backgrounds and the styles of input
files are different from each other. Accordingly, the
introduction of a simple but effective relation, which can
estimate design moments on the basis of elastic analysis
results without any time-dependent analysis, is in great
demand in the preliminary design stage of balanced can-
tilever bridges.

## Unlike temporary loads such as live loads, impact

loads and seismic loads, permanent loads such as the
dead load and prestressing force are strongly related to
the long-term behavior of a concrete structure, so that
these are classified by the load which governs the time-
dependent behavior of a structure. Of these loads, the
dead load includes the self-weight continuously acting
on a structure during construction. Thus the moment and
deflection variations arising from changes in the struc- Fig. 7. Deformation of cantilevers before and after closure: (a) con-
tural system are heavily influenced by the dead load. The figuration of cantilever; (b) elastic deformations in a cantilever; (c)
design moments of a structure can finally be calculated restraint moment Mt after closure.
644 H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

joint remains open, then the deflection at time t will same loads applied on the changed structural system, and
increase to d·(1+ft) and the rotation angle to a·(1+ft), MIII=the restraint moment Mt.
where ft is the creep factor at time t. However, if the The derivation of Eq. (2) is possible under the basic
joint at the point B is closed after application of the load, assumption that the creep deformation of concrete starts
an increase in the rotation angle a·ft is restrained, and from the reference time, t=0 day. If it is assumed that
this restraint will develop the moment Mt, as shown in the joint is closed after a certain time, t=C days, while
Fig. 7c. The moment Mt, if acting in the cantilever, maintaining the same assumptions adopted in the deri-
causes the elastic rotation at the point B, defined as vation of Eq. (2), then the structure can be analyzed by
b=Mtl/EI, and also accompanies the creep deformation. means of the rate-of-creep method (RCM) , and the
Since the creep factor increases by dft during a time creep moments obtained in Fig. 8 can be represented by
interval dt, the variations in the angles of rotation will the following expression :
be a·dft and db (the elastic deformation) +b·dft (the
Mcr⫽(MII⫺MI)(1⫺e−(ft−fC)) (3)
creep deformation) for a and b, respectively.
From these relations and the fact that there is no net Namely, in balanced cantilever bridges, the restraint
increase in discontinuity after the joint is closed, the moment grows continuously from the time at which the
compatibility condition for the angular deformation structural system is changed (t=C days), and its magni-
(a·dft=db+b·dft) can be constructed. The integration of tude is proportional to (1⫺e−(ft−fC)) [10,15,16].
this relation with respect to ft gives the restraint moment Generally, construction of a multispan continuous
Mt : bridge starts at one end and proceeds continuously to the
(1−e−ft) (1−e−ft) other end. Therefore, change in the structural system is
Mt⫽ql2 ⫽qL2 (1) repeated whenever each cantilever part is tied by
6 24 concreting a key segment at the midspan. Moreover, the
where ft means the creep factor at time t, and L=2l. influence by the newly connected span will be delivered
From Eq. (1), it can be found that for a large value into the previously connected spans so that there are
of ft, the restraint moment converges to Mt=qL2/24, some limitations in direct applications of Eq. (3) to cal-
which is the same moment that would have been culate the restraint moment at each span because of the
obtained if the joint at the point B had been closed before many different connecting times of t=C days. To solve
the load q was applied. This illustrates the fact that this problem and for a sufficiently exact calculation of
moment redistribution due to concrete creep following a the final time-dependent moments, Trost and Wolff 
change in the structural system tends to approach the proposed a relation on the basis of the combination of
moment distribution that relates to the structural system elastic moments (SMS,i; equivalent to MI in Eq. (3))
obtained after the change. occurred at each construction step (see Fig. 9), and the
Referring to Fig. 8, which shows the moment distri- moment obtained by assuming that the entire structure
bution over time, the following general relationship may
be stated :
Mcr⫽MIII⫺MI⫽(MII⫺MI)(1⫺e−ft) (2)
where Mcr=the creep moment resulting from change of
structural system, MI=the moment due to loads before a
change of structural system, MII=the moment due to the

## Fig. 8. Moment distribution over time. Fig. 9. Combination of MS,i.

H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648 645

is constructed at the same point in time (ME; equivalent 3.2. A proposed relation
to MII in Eq. (3)):

With the background for the time-dependent behavior
ft
MT⫽ MS,i⫹(ME⫺ MS,i) (4) of a cantilever beam effectively describing the internal
1+rft moment variation in balanced cantilever bridges, and by
where ft and r represent the creep factor and corre- maintaining the basic form of Eq. (4) suggested by Trost
sponding relaxation factor, respectively. and Wolff , considering the construction sequence
This relation has been broadly used in practice while calculating the internal moments at an arbitrary
because of its simplicity. In particular, the exactness and time t, the following relation is introduced:
efficiency of this relation can be expected in a bridge
constructed by the incremental launching method (ILM) MT⫽ 冘 MS,i⫹(ME⫺ 冘 MS,i)(1⫺e−(ft−fc))·f(ft) (5)
or the movable scaffolding system (MSS), that is, in a
where f(ft)=cft/(1+cft). c is the concrete aging coef-
span-by-span constructed bridge. However, there are still
ficient which accounts for the effect of aging on the ulti-
limitations in direct applications of Eq. (4) to balanced
mate value of creep for stress increments or decrements
cantilever bridges because this equation excludes the
occurring gradually after application of the original load.
proportional ratio, (1⫺e−(ft−fC)) in Eq. (3), which rep-
It was found that in previous studies [11,12,14] an aver-
resents the characteristic of the balanced cantilever
age value of c=0.82 can be used for most practical prob-
method.
lems where the creep coefficient lies between 1.5 and
The difference in the internal moments (ME⫺ΣMS,i in
3.0. An approximate value of c=0.82 is adopted in this
Eq. (4) which is equivalent to MII⫺MI in Eq. (3)) is not
paper. In addition, if the creep factor ft is calculated on
recovered immediately after connection of all the spans
the basis of the ACI model , f(ft)=cft/(1+cft) has
but gradually over time, and the internal restraint
the values of 0.62, 0.64, and 0.65 at 1 year, 10 years,
moments occurring at time t also decrease with time
and 100 years, respectively.
because of relaxation accompanied by creep defor-
Comparing this equation (Eq. (5)) with Eq. (4), the
mation. From this fact, it may be inferred that Eq. (4)
following differences can be found: (1) to simulate the
considers the variation of the internal restraint moments
cantilevered construction, a term, (1⫺e−(ft−fC)) describ-
on the basis of a relaxation phenomenon. When a con-
ing the creep behavior of a cantilevered beam is added
stant stress s0 is applied at time t0, this stress will be
in Eq. (5) (see Eq. (3)); and (2) the term ft(1+rft) in
decreased to s(t) at time t (see Fig. 10). Considering the
Eq. (4) is replaced by f(ft)=cft/(1+cft) in Eq. (5) on the
stress variation with the effective modulus method
basis of the relaxation phenomenon.
(EMM), the strain e(t) corresponding to the stress s(t)
To verify the effectiveness of the introduced relation,
can be expressed by e(t)=s0/E0·(1+ft). Moreover, the
the internal moment variations in FCM 1, FCM 2, and
stress ratio, which denotes the relaxation ratio, becomes
FCM 3 bridges (see Fig. 1), which were obtained
R(t,t0)=s(t)/s0=1/(1+ft), and the stress variation
through rigorous time-dependent analyses, are compared
⌬s(t)=ft/(1+ft)·s0. That is, the stress variation is pro-
with those by the introduced relation. The effect of creep
portional to ft/(1+ft). If the age-adjusted effective modu-
in the rigorous numerical model was studied in accord-
lus method (AEMM) is based on calculation to allow
ance with the first-order algorithm based on the expan-
the influence of aging due to change of stress, the stress
sion of a degenerate kernel of compliance function
variation can be expressed by ⌬s(t)=cft/(1+cft)·s0,
[8,11,12]. Figures 11–13, representing the results
where c is the aging coefficient .
obtained at t=1 year, t=10 years, and t=100 years after
completion of construction, show that the relation of Eq.
(4) proposed by Trost and Wolff gives slightly conserva-
tive positive moments even though they are still accept-
able in the preliminary design stage. On the other hand,
the introduced relation of Eq. (5) effectively simulates
the internal moment variation over time regardless of the
construction sequence and gives slightly larger positive
moments than those obtained by the rigorous analysis
along the spans. Hence the use of Eq. (5) in determining
the positive design moments will lead to more reason-
able designs of balanced cantilever bridges. In addition,
the underestimation of the negative moments, which rep-
resents the equivalent magnitudes with overestimation of
the positive moments, will be induced. The negative
Fig. 10. Stress variation due to relaxation. design moments, however, must be determined on the
646 H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

Fig. 12. Moment variations of FCM 2 bridge after: (a) 1 year; (b)
Fig. 11. Moment variations of FCM 1 bridge after; (a) 1 year; (b) 10 years; (c) 100 years.
10 years; (c) 100 years.
4. Application to segmental bridges

basis of the cantilevered state because it has the A time-dependent analysis of balanced cantilever
maximum value in all the construction steps, as noted bridges was conducted by assuming that the cantilevers
in Fig. 2. This means that the negative design moment are constructed simultaneously while maintaining a con-
has a constant value of M=1160 t m in this example stant time interval (see Fig. 1). The cantilevers in real
structure and is calculated directly from the elastic bridges are usually constructed by sequential connection
moment of a cantilevered beam. of segments 3 to 6 m long. These segments may be cast
H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648 647

## properties used are the same as those used previously.

The results obtained at t=100 years in FCM 1, FCM 2,
and FCM 3 bridges (see Fig. 1) are given in Fig. 15.
Comparing the obtained results in Fig. 15 and in Figs.
11–13, the positive moments in the segmental bridge
show slightly larger values than those obtained when the
entire length of the cantilever is cast at the same time.
This difference in the numerical results seems to arise
not from the difference in the construction method of
the cantilever part but from the difference in time when
the structural system is changed. From the results
obtained, it can be inferred that the most influential fac-
tors on the internal moment variation in balanced cantil-
ever bridges are the magnitude of the ultimate creep fac-
tor and the time when the structural system is changed
to a statically indeterminate state. This is because the
time-dependent deformations of concrete become very
important as a result of early loading to the young con-
crete. Moreover, it can be concluded that the introduced
relation of Eq. (5) can be used effectively even in seg-
mental bridges, and by using this relation, the design
moment required to determine the concrete dimensions
in the preliminary design stage can easily be calculated
without any rigorous time-dependent analysis.

5. Conclusions

## A simple, but effective, relation which can simulate

Fig. 13. Moment variations of FCM 3 bridge after: (a) 1 year; (b) the internal moment variation due to the creep defor-
10 years; (c) 100 years. mation of concrete and the changes in the structural sys-
tem during construction is proposed, and a new guideline
in place or transported to the specific piers after pre- to determine the design moments is introduced in this
casting in a nearby construction yard. Accordingly, a paper. The positive design moment for a dead load can
segmental concrete bridge has been taken as an example be determined by the introduced relation, while the nega-
structure to review the applicability and effectiveness of tive design moment for a dead load must be calculated
the introduced relation of Eq. (5). The example structure directly from the elastic moment of a cantilevered beam
is shown in Fig. 14, and each segment with a length of in balanced cantilever bridges.
2.7 m is assumed to be cast-in-place with a time interval Moreover, since the internal moments by other loads,
of 8 days. All the sectional dimensions and material except the dead load, are not affected by the construction
648 H.-G. Kwak, J.-K. Son / Engineering Structures 24 (2002) 639–648

## results represent slightly conservative values . In

addition, if a rigorous time-dependent analysis is con-
ducted with the initial section determined on the basis
of the initial design moments obtained by using Eq. (5),
then a more effective design of balanced cantilever
bridges can be expected.

Acknowledgements

## The research presented in this paper was sponsored

partly by the Samsung Engineering and Construction.
Their support is greatly appreciated.

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