Home Skip to main content

Improved Stress Measurements for Better Bridge Design

Posted: Aug 1, 2019

To develop data that could help improve the design of bridge girders, MPC researchers at Utah State University investigated the amount of strain typical vehicles caused in the bottom of each girder as they travel across the bridge. This research also examined the maximum strains in the bridge girders due to vehicle loads. The researchers also quantified the effective prestress in an exterior and interior girder and compared those measurements with predicted values.

When a vehicle drives over a bridge, each bridge girder carries a portion of the vehicle's weight. This load causes strain in the bottom of the bridge girders. However, depending on where the vehicle is located on the bridge, some bridge girders carry a higher percentage of the vehicle's load. To resist these vehicle loads, the effective prestress must be accurately determined.

Additionally, the data acquisition system used in the study proved to be very useful and cooperator Bridge Diagnostics, Inc., has used experience from the research project to improve the system.

Paul Barr, Ph.D.
Utah State University

Prestress Losses and Development of Short-term Data Acquisition System for Bridge Monitoring

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050