I'm working on analysis of a bridge wall-pier for dead and live loads. When modeling the pier in finite element software (LARSA), I'm running up against several modeling questions:
- Is it valid to model the wall as a single column element? (Going to a plate mesh seems like overkill for a run-of-the-mill highway bridge.)
- How should the connectivity be modeled between the girders and the wall pier? Are rigid links appropriate? Joint constraints? Beam elements with really high moments of inertia?
- If I wanted to run modal analysis, would this change the modeling considerations?