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Title:Innovative and Economical Steel Bridge Design Alternatives for Colorado
Authors:Robert I. Johnson and Rebecca A. Atadero
University:Colorado State University
Publication Date:Dec 2015
Report #:MPC-15-298
Project #:MPC-343
TRID #:01594609
Keywords:continuous spans, fatigue tests, load tests, steel bridges
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications



Simple-made-continuous (SMC) steel bridges are a relatively new innovation in steel bridge design. The SMC concept is a viable solution for steel bridges to recover market share of the bridges constructed in the United States. The majority of SMC bridges currently in use are constructed with concrete diaphragms. This work presents the results analysis and testing of this SMC connection scheme using steel diaphragms. A bridge of this type was constructed by the Colorado Department of Transportation in 2005 and its connections serve as the basis for the research presented herein. Preliminary numerical analysis was performed by hand; this analysis discovered potential design flaws in the current bridge connection. Subsequent numerical analysis using Abaqus finite element analysis software provided results that were indecisive in regard to the flaws found in the hand analysis. The finite element analysis did provide valuable insight into some of the connection behavior. Physical testing was subsequently performed on a full size model of the connection, which verified that there were design flaws in the original design. The results of analysis and physical testing provided information necessary to correct the design flaws and data required for the development of a design methodology for the connection type.

How to Cite

Johnson, Robert I., and Rebecca A. Atadero. Innovative and Economical Steel Bridge Design Alternatives for Colorado, MPC-15-298. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2015.

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