Live Load Testing and Analysis of the Southbound Span of U.S. Route 15 over Interstate-66
Collins, William Norfleet
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As aging bridges around the United States begin to near the end of their service lives, more funding must be allocated for their rehabilitation or replacement. The Federal Highway Administrationâ s (FHWA) Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program has been developed to help bridge stakeholders make the best decisions concerning the allocation of these funds. This is done through the use of high quality data obtained through numerous testing processes. As part of the LTBP Pilot Program, researchers have performed live load tests on the U.S. Route 15 Southbound bridge over Interstate-66. The main performance and behavior characteristics focused on are service strain and deflection, wheel load distribution, dynamic load allowance, and rotational behavior of bridge bearings. Data from this test will be used as a tool in developing and refining a plan for long-term bridge monitoring. This includes identifying the primarily loaded girders and their expected range of response under ambient traffic conditions. Information obtained from this test will also aid in the refinement of finite element models by offering insight into the performance of individual bridge components, as well as overall global behavior. Finally, the methods and results of this test have been documented to allow for comparison with future testing of this bridge, which will yield information concerning the changes in bridge behavior over time.
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