In recent times, the construction industry has witnessed the failure of Aguwani – Sultanganj bridge on June 4, 2022, which is under-construction in Bihar. A section of the same bridge collapsed during a thunderstorm on April 29, 2022. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has submitted its investigation report on the Aguwani – Sultanganj bridge which collapsed. The probe team has recommended to construct a new bridge instead of repairing the damaged structure. On April 29, 2022, the superstructure between pillars No. 4 and 6 fell due to strong wind and rain. The report says that there is a defect in the design of the bridge due to which the pillars could not support the load of the superstructure. This blog focuses on the key issues and considerations that engineers and construction professionals must address to ensure successful bridge construction.
Designing and constructing friction piles in heterogeneous soil conditions presents significant challenges.
Geotechnical Issues: The complex geological formations across India, vary from alluvial soils and dense sands to weather rock and hard rock. The presence of problematic soils can pose challenges in terms of their stability, settlement, and lateral movements. Inadequate analysis and understanding of the soil conditions during the design phase can lead to foundation failures and overall bridge instability.
Poor Design: Bridge failures can occur due to design flaws or errors. Inadequate consideration of the loads, such as vehicular traffic, dynamic forces, and potential hydraulic forces from rivers or streams, can compromise the structural integrity of the bridge. Insufficient reinforcement, improper detailing, or inadequate structural members can also contribute to failure.
Construction Deficiencies: In some cases, failures can be attributed to construction-related issues. Poor quality control, inadequate supervision, and lack of adherence to design specifications during the construction phase can compromise the bridge’s integrity. Deficiencies in material quality, improper construction techniques, and lack of proper compaction can all contribute to bridge failures.
Bearing Capacity and Settlement: Low bearing capacity and high compressibility are common characteristics of alluvial soils, resulting in significant settlement under load. Designing piles to safely support required loads while considering potential settlement is a complex task that demands accurate geotechnical investigations and analysis.
Pile Capacity and installation: Accurately estimating the load-bearing capacity of friction piles in dense sand is challenging due to the soil’s variable and unpredictable nature. Non-uniform layers or variations in soil properties further complicate this assessment. Precise assessment of soil properties becomes crucial for reliable pile capacity estimation.
Pile Integrity and length of pile: Friction piles load-bearing capacity relies on their structural integrity. However, pile installation in dense sand can cause soil densification and lateral displacement, potentially affecting pile integrity. Determination of length of pile in dense sand is also a typical task; it requires a thorough understanding of the soil investigation reports.
The bearing capacity of the pile is also affected by the presence of water because it affects the friction between pile and soil. Also, for the point of economy the construction of piles in alluvial and dense sands proves to be uneconomical.
To overcome the challenges associated with friction pile design in alluvial soils and dense sands, thorough geotechnical investigations, detailed engineering analyses, and appropriate construction techniques are crucial. Collaboration among geotechnical engineers, structural engineers, and construction professionals is essential to ensure the successful design and construction of friction piles for construction of bridges. At VGeotech Experts, the expertise and experience of Dr. Abhinav Mane, cautions us to be extremely careful while providing the designs for foundations and other structures. Our team of experts ensures to provide a reliable and precise solutions.