Title page for ETD etd-12162002-113130

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Restrepo, Edgar Salom
URN etd-12162002-113130
Title Determination of AASHTO Bridge Design Parameters through Field Evaluation of the Rt. 601 Bridge: A Bridge Utilizing Strongwell 36 in. Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Double Web Beams as the Main Load Carrying Members
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cousins, Thomas E. Committee Chair
Gomez, Jose P. Committee Member
Lesko, John J. Committee Member
Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L. Committee Member
  • deflection control
  • dynamic load allowance
  • fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP)
  • pultruded structural beam
  • hybrid composite beam
  • wheel load distribution
  • composite materials
  • bridge design
Date of Defense 2002-12-03
Availability unrestricted
The Route 601 Bridge in Sugar Grove, Virginia spans 39 ft over Dickey Creek. The Bridge is the first to use the Strongwell 36 in. fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) double web beam (DWB) in its superstructure. Replacement of the old bridge began in June 2001, and construction of the new bridge was completed in October 2001. The bridge was field tested in October 2001 and June 2002.

This thesis details the field evaluation of the Rt. 601 Bridge. Using mid span deflection and strain data from the October 2001 and June 2002 field tests, the primary goal of this research was to determine the following AASHTO bridge design parameters: wheel load distribution factor g, dynamic load allowance IM, and maximum deflection. The wheel load distribution factor was determined to be S/5, a dynamic load allowance was determined to be 0.30, and the maximum deflection of the bridge was L/1500. Deflection results were lower than the AASHTO L/800 limit. This discrepancy is attributed to partial composite action of the deck-to-girder connections, bearing restraint at the supports, and contribution of guardrail stiffness.

Secondary goals of this research were to quantify the effect of diaphragm removal on girder distribution factor, determine torsion and axial effects of the FRP girders, compare responses to multiple lane symmetrical loading to superimposed single lane response, and compare the field test results to a finite element and a finite difference model. It was found that diaphragm removal had a small effect on the wheel load distribution factor. Torsional and axial effects were small. The bridge response to multilane loading coincided with superimposed single lane truck passes, and curb-stiffening effects in a finite difference model improved the accuracy of modeling the Rt. 601 Bridge behavior.

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