TrueNorth Steel Designs SuperSill® Abutment

Mar 20, 2019 | Product Information

One of the most integral parts of installing a prefabricated modular bridge system is the abutment. Tasked with supporting the lateral and horizontal force  pressure applied by the bridge, the abutment or spread footing needs to be structurally sound and durable to ensure the structure meets design requirements and is safe to use. Traditional abutments are typically cast-in-place concrete or precast concrete shipped to the job site. However, both methods have their drawbacks. Abutments cast-in-place require more excavation and take longer to install. Precast abutments are very heavy, making them expensive to ship and usually require a crane to unload depending on their size and weight.

Our SuperSill® abutments eliminate both of these issues and go hand in hand with the TrueNorth Steel Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC ) process. These lightweight forms are perfect for a variety of projects including vehicular bridge crossings, golf courses, trail crossings, and pedestrian bridges. In addition to being fabricated with the same high-quality materials as our prefabricated modular steel bridge systems , SuperSill® forms have many other benefits.

Durable and Flexible Design

Provisionally patented, the TrueNorth Steel SuperSill® is a unique prefabricated steel concrete abutment or spread footing form  that streamlines the installation process of bridge systems. The SuperSill® abutment is relatively lightweight and made by applying a corrugated sheet, wide-flanged W-beams, and welded supports to a heavy-duty, high-quality frame. The galvanized form contains structural elements that eliminate the need for structural steel reinforcement. TrueNorth Steel can also provide sizing recommendations based upon site soil conditions and stamped engineered design drawings when required.

SuperSill® abutments can meet a variety of requirements depending on the project’s requirements and installation methods. These structures can be fabricated in multiple widths and lengths to meet various soil bearing conditions, as well as bridge widths. SuperSill® abutments can also be fabricated in a variety of sizes to accommodate the lifting capabilities of the equipment that will be on-site during installation. SuperSill® spread footings are also applicable to structural plate bottomless arches.

Economically Viable

SuperSill® abutments are much more cost-effective than traditional concrete abutments. With a pre-engineered and standardized design can simplify and reduce time and costs relative to cast-in-place designs. Our TrueNorth Trail bridges and corresponding SuperSill® abutments also offer a low-impact option for trail and light vehicle crossings because they have a less negative impact on environmentally sensitive streambeds.

The SuperSill® forms can also be pre-filled with concrete or even aggregate ballast for smaller bridges prior to shipping or filled on-site during installation depending on the needs of the projects. Having the forms filled during fabrication is beneficial for rural projects , as well as those in hard to access locations because concrete only has a short 90-minute delivery window before it starts to set. On the other hand, shipping the forms empty cuts down on the costs associated with shipping low-value concrete from the plant to the job site.

Faster and Easier Installation

SuperSill® abutments are an essential part of our Accelerated Bridge Construction systems . Because the forms are prefabricated, they can be installed much quicker than traditional abutments by eliminating unnecessary on-site forming. When the fabrication of the SuperSill® abutment is done, it can be delivered to the site just prior to installation of the bridge. In many cases, it can even be shipped on the same truck as the prefabricated modular bridge system.

The SuperSill® abutment is then welded or bolted directly to the bridge for a monolithic connection. When combined with our prefabricated steel abutment backwall the SuperSill® system provides unsurpassed ease of handling and installation.

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