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Bridge Pier Design Programs

Bridge Pier Design Programs

(OP)
I was curious what programs people use to design bridge piers/bents? My company has historically used RC Pier / LEAP but we've had issues with Bentley and this product. With this we're looking around. Thanks in advance.

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

What kind of issue are you having with Leap so that I can get you some help? If you prefer to contact me offline, that's fine.

Seth Guthrie

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

(OP)
Beyond some program stability issues, we pointed out to Bentley that the design negative moment in continuous superstructures were being miscalculated. In my specific case, the moment was undersized by approximately 30%. This was confirmed with hand calcs and an older version of Conspan. From that point on, my company was not impressed with how Bentley responded.

We've sinced moved to Bridgelink / PGSuper for our prestressed concrete superstructures. We're now looking for a pier program to compliment.

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

There are a few that I can think of, but haven't used (Brass Pier, FB-pier. I use rc-pier and haven't much of an issue, just need to understand how it's doing things like every other program. The other alternative I've done is staad/risa but it's sooo cumbersome to do that...

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

We've used RC Pier around here since I've been with the company (14 years). Since they were purchased by Bentley, I feel their reliability has decreased. Seems like for every project we do we stumble across something that isn't calculated correctly or there has to be a cumbersome work around. There aren't may replacements out there. Iowa DOT has some very good Excel spreadsheets for pier design.

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

(OP)
3Fan - We're in the same boat. We've used the Conspan/RC Pier programs for a long while but we've noticed a dramatic decline in reliability recently. We've just gotten to the point where we don't trust it anymore. I'll take a look at those Iowa DOT spreadsheets. Thank you.

I've found a few with online searches like VBent and FB-MultiPier but I don't know anyone that uses them.

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

John,
I did a search and could not find any record of an issue similar to what you described. If you logged an issue with Bentley support please provide the SR number so that I may track it down and contact you.
Regards,
Ignacio

RE: Bridge Pier Design Programs

(OP)
Ignacio - I really didn't want this thread to be about LBC but I'm not sure about a SR number. We let our sales rep know that we were having a number of issues with LBC and we were assigned a BrIM Support Engineer to contact directly. The negative moment issue occurred about a year or so ago and everything went through him. Long story short, we were given a patch to fix the issue but we were disappointed on how Bentley advertised that A - a patch was even needed and B - it was available to download. The next version release of LBC included the fix but there was a gap between that was worrisome.

Since then, we've been using older versions of Conspan and RC Pier that we trust, supplementing with spreadsheets to keep currenty with AASHTO. My company has been testing out PGSuper recently. I haven't personally tried it yet but it sounds like its been impressive and moving forward it will be our concrete superstructure program (It being a free program doesn't hurt either - thanks WSDOT). But for pier designs, we're still using RC Pier with the workarounds I described. This isn't really that bad, especially when the pier is short and the wind loading is simple (Kz = 1.0). But if there is another program that can do piers, it'd be nice to fully move on.

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