Integral reinforced concrete (RC) bridges are jointless structures. Due to their economic advantages, these bridges are becoming increasingly popular. The advantages include reduced expenses with regard to construction and maintenance. However, the mentioned advantages are contrasted by an increased effort in design.
Existing guidelines for the design of integral RC bridges are often extremely conservative due to their complex behaviour. When aiming for more efficient designs, the requirements for planning increase as well. Therefore, the focus of this work is to provide easier and more economical tools for the design of integral RC bridges. For this purpose, it is necessary to determine the behaviour of these bridges under general loading holistically. Consequently, large-scale tests are presented which allow the determination of the size of the restraint forces at different load levels. Additionally, the large-scale tests serve to enhance the knowledge of stress redistributions.
Furthermore, the influence of a restraint axial force resulting from a restrained centre line strain on the design of integral RC bridges is discussed.
Based on the results of the large-scale tests and the further investigations, recommendations for the design of integral RC bridges are derived.