Investigation of Load-Path Redundancy in Aging Steel Bridges

A key factor affecting the resiliency of transportation infrastructure is aging. Furthermore, the current age of the nation's transportation infrastructure relative to the financial resources available for infrastructure investments causes aging to be one of the biggest challenges facing civil engineers in the coming years. The objective of this work is to better quantify the actual capacity of aging steel bridges. This is accomplished through investigating load-path redundancy, which is a source of reserve capacity in bridges that is not currently accounted for in bridge design or rating, as a function of the condition of the concrete bridge deck. Specifically, finite element analysis of hypothetical bridges with various levels of deck deterioration will be preformed. The sensitivity of these results to other geometric parameters of bridges will also be investigated. The research will be limited to analysis of steel I-girder bridges, which are one of the most common bridge configurations in the local region and nationwide, so that the project may be completed within a relatively short time frame. The project will result in information that will allow the aging structures that are in greatest need of rehabilitation or replacement to be better identified.


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    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:

      DTRT06 G 0026

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Stearns, Amy

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Delaware, Newark

      Department of Civil Engineering
      301 DuPont Hall
      Newark, DE  United States  19716
    • Principal Investigators:

      McConnell, Jennifer

    • Start Date: 20100901
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20110830
    • Source Data: RiP Project 26895

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01461322
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Delaware Center for Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT06 G 0026
    • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:43PM