Automated Design of 3-D Highway Sign Bridge Structures

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by C. C. Fu, Univ of Maryland, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil Engineering:

Abstract: A PC-based computer analysis/design program for 3-D Sign Bridge Structures including Pre- and Post-processor has been developed. The analysis of thirty different types of sign support structures can be performed by this program. The structures may be cantilevered or overhead sign bridges and composed of prismatic or tapered tubular member shapes (e.g., round, dodecagonal, octagonal, square, and rectangular). The loadings may consist of all AASHTO DL, WL, ICE load and LL, automatically placed on the structure to give maximum effects. Arbitrary loading may also be input at the discretion of the user. All structural properties are automatically calculated by the program and utilized by a three-dimensional frame analysis subroutine which yields moments, forces and deflections. Data is input interactively via numerous input screens which feature full editing capabilities. Pull-down menus allow easy movement from one screen to another. On-screen plots of the structural configuration are also available to check the input at the option of the user. The powerful mesh generation capability of the program allows the user to select just the structural pattern with no need to define the nodes and coordinates. This presentation should interest the audiences who are in the transportation and/or structure areas. This program is being used by some state agencies and is considered very user-friendly and time-saving for the design of highway sign structures. The program has been fully field tested and is used extensively in designing different types of sign structures. This paper will discuss the functionality of the computer program and its application for highway departments.

Subject Headings: Highway and road structures | Highway bridges | Structural analysis | Bridge design | Highway and road design | Three-dimensional analysis | Traffic signs | Computer analysis |

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