Ultimate Live Load Distribution Factor for Bridges

by Conrad P. Heins, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,
John T.C. Kuo, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Research Asst.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 7, Pg. 1481-1496

Document Type: Journal Paper


The purpose of this research was to establish a more realistic lateral load distribution factor, in conjunction with the ASSHTO Load Factor Design Method. The distribution factor at ultimate load is designated as Dp, which is Dp = 3.45 — 1.809γ + 0.315γ², in which γ = number of girders/number of lanes. This equation gives approximately a value of S/7.0, as compared to the present value of S/5.5. The analytical method, which permitted development of this equation, considered the elastoplastic behavior of loaded composite girder slab bridge systems. The method involved solution of elastic plate equations with modifications to include inelastic action. Several design examples are presented in order to illustrate the use of the equations.

Subject Headings: Load distribution | Lateral loads | Live loads | Ultimate loads | Load factors | Bridges | Load and resistance factor design | Composite bridges

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