Date of Award:

5-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Paul J. Barr

Abstract

The Long Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program is a 20-year program initiated by the Federal Highway Administration to better understand the behavior of highway bridges as they deteriorate due to environmental variables and vehicle loads. Part of this program includes the periodic testing of selected bridges.

The Lambert Road Bridge was subjected to nondestructive testing in the fall of 2009. Part of this testing included a live load test. This test involved driving two heavy trucks across the instrumented bridge on selected load paths. The bridge was instrumented with strain, displacement, and tilt sensors. This collected data was used to calibrate a finite element model. This finite element model was used to determine the theoretical live load distribution factors. Using the controlling distribution factor from the finite element model, the inventory and operating ratings of the bridge were determined. These load ratings were compared to those obtained from using the controlling distribution factor from the AASHTO LRFD Specifications.

This thesis also examined how different parameters such as span length, girder spacing, parapets, skew, continuity, deck overhang, and deck thickness affect the distribution factors of box girder bridges. This was done by creating approximately 40 finite element models and comparing the results to those obtained by using the AASHTO LRFD Specifications.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on January 19, 2011.

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