Determination of the Design Parameters for the Route 601 Bridge: A Bridge Containing the Strongwell 36 inch Hybrid Composite Double Web Beam


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Virginia Tech


The Route 601 Bridge spans 39 ft over Dickey Creek in Sugar Grove, VA and represents the first use of Strongwell's 36 in. double web beam (DWB) as the main load carrying members for a traffic bridge. The bridge was designed for AASHTO HS20-44 and AASHTO alternate military loading with a targeted deflection limit of L/800. For the preliminary design, conservative properties for the 36 in. DWB were assumed based on experience at Virginia Tech with Strongwell's 8 in. DWB used in the Tom's Creek Bridge. An elastic modulus (E) of 6,000 ksi and a shear stiffness (kGA) of 20,000 ksi-in2 were assumed and used with Timoshenko shear deformable beam theory to characterize the beams and determine the deflections.

This thesis details the experimental work conducted in conjunction with the design of the Route 601 Bridge, which had two goals. First, a deck-to-girder connection was tested to determine if a bolted connection could develop composite action between the girder and the deck. This connection was shown to provide a significant amount of composite action when used with the 8 in. DWB and a composite deck, but little or no composite action when used with the 36 in. DWB and a glue-laminated timber deck. Second, eleven 36 in. DWB's were tested to determine their stiffness properties (EI and kGA) to insure that these properties were above the values assumed in the preliminary design, and all the beams had stiffness properties that were close to or above the assumed values. The eleven beams were also proof tested to a moment equivalent to five times the service load moment to insure the safety of the Route 601 Bridge, and one beam was tested to failure to determine the failure mode and residual stiffness of the 36 in. DWB. Finally, based on these results eight beams were chosen for the Route 601 Bridge.



fiber-reinforced polymer, hybrid composite beam, shear deformation, pultruded structural beam, FRP, bridge design, Composite materials, bolted deck-to-girder connection for composite beams