Testing the Limitsby Edward G. Dauenheimer, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Civ. and Environmental Engrg., New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ,
John Schuring, Assoc. Prof.; Civ. and Environmental Engrg., New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ,
Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 5, Pg. 50-52
Document Type: Feature article
More than 100,000 bridges in the U.S. are considered structurally deficient and in need of posted load limits or repair. As the number continues to mount, engineers search for a better way to rate load capacity. Diagnostic load tests in the field, performed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Florida DOT, among others, have shown that the actual distribution of loads, the interaction of structural and nonstructural components and the effect of deterioration and repairs may differ from the rating model predictions. Even if a bridge's capacity rating cannot be improved, load tests can confirm the need for repair. With these factors in mind, the New Jersey Institute of Technology tested six bridges in the Northeast (built around the turn of the century) and compared the results with their predicted ratings models. A key goal was to integrate the results of the field load tests with rating computations to revise, validate and, ultimately, establish a safe load capacity.
Subject Headings: Load tests | Load bearing capacity | Loading rates | Ratings | Field tests | Rehabilitation | Load distribution | North America | Ontario | Canada
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