Live Load Stresses in Steel Curved Girder Bridges


Jerome Hajjar, Joel Ray, Tina Wyffels, Magnus Carlsson

September 2001

Report no. Mn/DOT 2002-08

Their initial curvature make steel-cured girder bridges more susceptible to lateral-torsional bucking during construction. Critical in assessing the strength and fatigue life of the bridge components, predicting stresses in the main girders and the crossframes proves more comples than in straight bridges. In this project, researchers investigated the correlation between measured and computed results in a two-span, four-girder, continuous composite steel curved girder bridge with skew supports. A previous phase involved computing the stresses through a linear elastic grillage finite element computer project and comparing the results with a typical third-party curved girder analysis program. The project's second phase further investigated the correlation between measured and computed stresses by running two additional live load tests on the bridge. This report summarizes research to investigate the behavior of the curved girder bridge system through all phases of construction, as well as to a series of live load field tests. In addition, researchers investigated the effects of change in temperature on the bridge behavior and tracked any changes in behavior of the bridge system over time and under service load conditions.

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