72802 - Bridge Design M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the student with the abilities necessary for the conception and the design of bridges structures, with specific reference to the identification of the resisting mechanisms, the actions, the analysis methods, the sizing criteria for the superstucture, the piers and the accessory devices.

The course is completed by the activities developed in the LABORATORY OF BRIDGE DESIGN M.

Course contents


A prior knowledge and understanding of the concepts of structural mechanics, construction techniques and geotechnics is required to attend with profit this course. In particular, the student should be really conversant with structural design.

This knowledge is usually acquired by passing the exams of Scienza delle Costruzioni (Structural Mechanics), Teoria delle Strutture (Theory of Structures), Tecnica delle Costruzioni (Building Techniques), Calcolo Automatico delle Strutture (Computational Structural Mechanics), Progetto di Strutture (Design of Structures), Geotecnica (Geotechnics).

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and study material will be in Italian. Part of the study material will be given in English.



- Criteria of bridges classification; basics of statics; historical excursus of bridges construction

- Italian rules for bridges design; the actions on bridges; the geotechnical and the hydraulic issues

- Coactive states and distorsions

- Creep models

- Wind: aeroelastic phenomena

- Influence lines theory

- Orthotropic plates theory

- R.C. slabs and orthtotropic decks

- Criteria of point loads distribution (Courbon-Albenga, Massonet-Bares, Folded-Plates theory)

- Design criteria for beams, girders, box girders, trusses

- Statics of arch bridges and models for elastic theory

- Composite structures

- Seismic design of bridges

The lectures are integrated by exercises about design of superstructure details of a prestressed concrete beams bridge deck.


- G. Albenga, I ponti, Voll. I e II, Ed. UTET, Torino, 1953
- E. Siviero, Il progetto del ponte, Ed. Coll. Ingg. Prov. Padova, Padova, 1994
- M.P. Petrangeli, Progettazione e costruzione di ponti, IV ed., Ed. Masson, Milano, 1997
- F.Martinez, Ponti e viadotti: concezione, progetto, analisi, gestione, Ed. Pitagora, Bologna, 2000
- Autori vari, Nuovi orientamenti per la progettazione di ponti e viadotti, Ed. Dario Flaccovio, Palermo, 2005

- C. Cestelli Guidi, Cemento armato precompresso, Ed. Hoepli, Milano, 1987
- F. Leonhardt, C.a. e c.a.p. Calcolo di progetto e tecniche costruttive. I ponti, Ed. Tecniche Milano, Milano, 1979
- T.Y. Lin, N.H. Burns, "Design of prestressed concrete structures", Wiley, 1982
- R. Walther, M.Miehlbradt, "Progettare in calcestruzzo armato", Hoepli, 1990
- L. Santarella, "Il cemento armato", 22a ediz., Hoepli, 1998
- L. Goffi, P. Marro, "Appunti sul Cemento armato precompresso", CLUT editrice, Torino, 1998

- O. Belluzzi, Scienza delle costruzioni, Vol. II, Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna, 1966
- P. Pozzati, Teoria e tecnica delle strutture, Vol. I (1972) e Vol. II (1977) Ed. UTET, Torino
- Autori vari, Manuale di Ingegneria Civile, Volume II, Ed. Zanichelli/ ESAC, Bologna, 1991

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons mainly at the blackboard (occasional use of Power-Point slides).
Numerical applicative examples at the blackboard.
Technical visits to labs and external companies.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by a final oral exam. In general, two or three questions:

1. applicative exercises regarding the structural behaviour of arches, structures under moving loads, creep effects, ....

2. analysis and design criteria for several types of bridges

3. design process, actions, materials, conceptual structural design, foundations, ...

Necessary condition to access the oral exam is to have successfully completed the design activity of LABORATORY OF BRIDGE DESIGN M (i.e. the calculation report, the techinical drawings and the study of the construction details of a prestressed concrete beams bridge deck).

The oral test is aimed at checking if the student has understood the subject in its theoretical aspects and if they are able to apply what studied in specific practical contexts.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of the key concepts of the subject. Higher grades will be awarded to students who demostrate a full and organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, an independent operative capacity to solve complex exercises and problems. A falling grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key concepts of the subject and/or inappropriate use of technical language.

Teaching tools

Possible lecture-notes supplied by the teacher.
Power-Point presentations.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Stefano Silvestri