Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Paul J. Barr


Paul J. Barr


Marc Maguire


Ziqi Song


The University Transportation Center at Utah State University sponsors research through the Federal Highway Administration’s University Transportation Center Program. The purpose of this research is to advance technology and expertise in transportation-related fields. This includes research pertaining to bridge design, monitoring, and inspection (the focus of this research).

The first focus area of this research monitored short-term strains at the bottom of girders in a concrete bulb-tee girder bridge. The strains were caused by traffic loading and recorded using strain transducers attached to the bottom of each bridge girder. Patterns in the strain loading were monitored to draw conclusions about the girder distribution factors and the maximum strains caused by various vehicle types. The largest loadings were evaluated and compared against the design loading.

The second focus area of this research examined whether three-dimensional modeling software could create a bridge model of sufficient quality to be used as a supplementary aid in bridge inspections. This was done by capturing imagery of three bridges using a standard, commercially available drone. The imagery was then input into three different modeling programs, and the results were evaluated to determine their suitability.