Long Time Observation of a Fatigue Damaged Bridge

by John W. Fisher, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Assoc. Dir.; Fritz Engrg. Lab., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
Alan W. Pense, Prof. and Chmn.; Metallurgy and Materials Engrg., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
Hans Hausammann, Research Asst.; Fritz Engrg. Lab., Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa.,
Robert E. Slockbower, (A.M.ASCE), First Lieutenant; 1st Engrg. Battalion, United States Army,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 55-71

Document Type: Journal Paper


Fatigue cracking was first observed at the Yellow Mill Pond Bridge on the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) in 1970. Fatigue crack growth resulted in complete fracture of a tension flange in one of the girders. Smaller cracks were discovered in several other beams. Fatigue cracking started at the end weld of cover plates welded on the rolled section, which form the longitudinal girders of the bridge structure. Several inspections were made between 1970 and 1979. The stress range due to the traffic was recorded in 1971, 1973 and 1976. Maximum stress ranges as high as 10.5 ksi (72.4 MPa) were measured at the end weld of the cover plates. The results from the bridge observations are compared with laboratory fatigue test data on small size and full size cover plated beams. The laboratory tests and analytical predictions of crack growth agree well with the observations made on the Yellow Mill Pond Bridge.

Subject Headings: Cracking | Bridge tests | Welding | Fatigue tests | Fatigue (material) | Damage (structural) | Bridges | Ponds | Connecticut | United States

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