Masters Theses


"The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has recently migrated from allowable stress design (ASD) to load and resistance factor design (LRFD) of driven piles. This transition was initiated when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a policy stating that all new bridge designs shall be designed in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) LRFD Bridge Design Specifications to eliminate the difference in design methodologies for bridge superstructures and bridge substructures. However, the resistance factors for driven piles specified in the AASHTO LRFD specifications are based on nationwide pile data, consisting of a wide range of different geologies, subsurface conditions, and installation procedures. For MoDOT to fully benefit from the transition from ASD to LRFD, resistance factors based on MoDOT's local practices and geologic conditions must be developed. The presented research was dedicated to collecting pile load test data to allow the calibration of resistance factors for ultimate limit state design for predictive methods used by MoDOT to determine pile capacity, as well as to develop related reliability-based quality control criteria of driven pile foundations. MoDOT's current state of practice was evaluated and all available pile load test data was collected. However, MoDOT has records for only 10 pile load tests. Therefore, the search was extended to Missouri's eight neighboring states by distributing questionnaires to surrounding state transportation administrations in hope of gathering pile data. Surrounding states have different geologic conditions, but any collected pile data could be matched to similar soil and rock formations in Missouri's geologic regions. Only five out of eight states responded to the questionnaire, and there was no pile load test data obtained from the states that responded. Therefore, the calibration of resistance factors could not be performed based on the research approaches. The deformation behavior of MoDOT bridge pile foundations was also evaluated at the serviceability limit state by modeling pile foundations in FB-MultiPier. The results indicated that pile displacement is an important factor for the development of serviceability resistance factors for pile foundations. Lastly, recommendations for future MoDOT practice and future research efforts regarding driven piles are provided"--Abstract, page iii.


Luna, Ronaldo

Committee Member(s)

Ge, Yu-Ning (Louis)
Stephenson, Richard Wesley


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Civil Engineering


Missouri. Department of Transportation


Appendix contained in separate PDFs.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2011


xiv, 166 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 27-30).

Geographic Coverage



© 2011 Joseph Ronson Cravens, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Bridges -- Design and construction -- Missouri
Load factor design
Piling (Civil engineering) -- Testing -- Mathematical models

Thesis Number

T 9813

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #