Load Rating of Composite Steel Curved I-Girder Bridges Through Load Testing with Heavy Trucks


Dan Krzmarzick, Jerome Hajjar

October 2006

Report no. MnDOT 2006-40

Current techniques for rating of horizontally curved composite steel I-girder bridges often use approximate methods of analysis based on assessment of individual straight girders with altered properties to account for member curvature. This project investigates the behavior and rating of these bridges through load testing with heavy trucks. A five-span continuous two-girder horizontally curved steel I-girder bridge was load tested. Strain and displacement measurements were obtained for the main girders, diaphragms, lateral wind bracing, bearings, composite interaction, and areas of high strain concentrations near stiffener details. Forty-three static tests with different truck load patterns were conducted along with thirteen dynamic tests to assess the bridge response. A linear elastic grillage-based model of the bridge was used to simulate the load patterns. A sensitivity study was carried out based on the tested bridge along with simulations of two other bridges previously tested elsewhere so as to assess the robustness of grillage analysis for use in load rating of horizontally curved steel I-girder bridges. Recommendations are made outlining rating of horizontally curved composite steel I-girder bridges through the use of grillage-based analysis, with and without the use of load testing, and within the context of the AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Rating (LRFR) and Load Factor Rating (LFR) procedures.

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