Load Rating Using an In-Service Monitoring System

The goal of this project was to investigate the use of in-situ strain data to directly calculate load ratings for bridges. By monitoring a network of bridges and by collecting new data sets every two years, bridge owners will be better able to track the health of bridges. The original load rating for a bridge is determined using a numerical analysis based on as-built properties. Since numerical models often incorporate conservative assumptions regarding bridge behavior, the load ratings that result from the numerical analysis are often more conservative than they would be if they were based on actual bridge response data. Adding a quantitative aspect to the bridge inspection process would be helpful in more precisely indicating the capacity of a bridge. Measures of actual live load stresses induced by ambient traffic would provide inspectors with quantitative data evaluations, which are primarily qualitative.