Implementation and Non-Destructive Evaluation of Composite Structural Shapes in the Tom's Creek Bridge


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Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research


A bridge rehabilitation utilizing a hybrid fiber reinforced polymeric composite has been completed in Blacksburg, Virginia. This project involved replacing the superstructure in the Tom's Creek Bridge, a rural short-span traffic bridge with a timber deck and corroded steel girders, with a glue-laminated timber deck on composite girders. In order to verify the bridge design and to address construction issues prior to the rehabilitation, a full-scale mock-up of the bridge was built and tested in the laboratory. This set-up utilized the actual composite beams, glue-laminated timber deck panels, and geometry to be implemented in the rehabilitation. After the rehabilitation was completed, the bridge was field tested under a known truckload. Both tests examined service load deflections, girder strains, load distribution, the degree of composite action, inter-panel deck deflections, and impact factor. The field test results indicate a service load deflection of L/400 under moving loads and a factor of safety of over 7 using the projected A-allowable for beam flexural strength. The data from the field test serves as a baseline reference for future field durability assessments as part of a long-term performance and durability study.



Composite materials, Bridge rehabilitation, Field testing, Nondestructive testing


M.D. Hayes, J. Haramis, J.J. Lesko, T.E. Cousins, J.C.Duke, R.E. Weyers. "Implementation and Non-Destructive Evaluation of Composite Structural Shapes in the Tom's Creek Bridge," Virginia Transportation Research Council 530 Edgemont Road Charlottesville, VA 22903, Report No. FHWA/VTRC 00-CR7, May 2000.