Title page for ETD etd-08052010-153314

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Collins, William Norfleet
Author's Email Address wncollins@vt.edu
URN etd-08052010-153314
Title Live Load Testing and Analysis of the Southbound Span of U.S. Route 15 over Interstate-66
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cousins, Thomas E. Committee Chair
Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L. Committee Member
Sotelino, Elisa D. Committee Member
  • wheel load distribution
  • Long-Term Bridge Performance Program
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Live load test
  • expansion joints
  • bridge bearings
  • dynamic load allowance
  • neutral axis
Date of Defense 2010-07-30
Availability unrestricted
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

Administration’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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