After-Fracture Response of a Two-Girder Steel Bridge

by R. L. Idriss, New Mexico State Univ, United States,
K. R. White, New Mexico State Univ, United States,
D. V. Jauregui, New Mexico State Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


The I-40 bridges over the Rio Grande are due to be razed in mid 1993 due to geometry and traffic safety considerations. The bridges are classified as 'fracture critical' two girder steel bridges. The bridge will be tested to determine the impact of defects on the redistribution of loads, on the load capacity, or on the potential for collapse (Idriss and White, 1992). After data is accumulated for this fracture critical bridge in good condition, defects consisting of one or more cuts in critical locations will be made and the data retaken. A computer model is created to predict the after fracture response of the bridge. Response of the impact structure is determined. Then defects in the form of cracks at critical locations of the bridge are introduced. The after fracture behavior of the structure is evaluated. The field test data will be subsequently used to check, validate, or modify the analytical model. This paper presents preliminary results of the finite element analysis that precludes the testing.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Girder bridges | Load bearing capacity | Cracking | Bridge tests | Traffic safety | Highway bridges | Rio Grande

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