Inspection, Repair, Retrofit Procedures, and Design Recommendations for Non-Redundant Steel Structures

There are approximately 1,500 structures in Ohio with the designation of fracture critical. Of these, approximately 900 pony trusses reside on the county system. As a result, counties are responsible for conducting specialized arms-length inspections on the fracture critical members (FCM) of these structures every twenty four months, in addition to the annual routine inspection. The FCM inspections are both costly and difficult to perform often due to the location of the members. While the tension zones in the steel pony members are categorized as fracture critical per Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Bridge Inspection Reference Manual (BIRM), a detailed analysis may prove otherwise. Research is needed to develop a modeling standard to analyze these structures and establish protocols, consistent with provisions outlined by FHWA, in order to refine fracture-critical designations. The goal of this research is to provide analytical evidence and protocols that allow for the reduction of the number of fracture critical members to inspect on pony trusses utilized on Ohio's local roadway system. In addition to the analytical goal, there is an objective to develop a repair/retrofit procedure to eliminate non-redundancy or fracture critical elements of pony trusses, thereby transitioning from a non-redundant to quasi-redundant designation. The results of this research will provide local engineers with enhanced knowledge and understanding of the function of this structure type. It will also aid to educate bridge inspectors as to the actual in-field performance of pony trusses. Positive findings from this research will position locals for potential savings in terms of cost and time through the elimination of excessive and onerous inspections. This would further increase the desirability of the pony truss as a viable option to own and maintain; thereby, expanding its consideration for use by local transportation officials.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $83,111.31
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration, Ohio Division

    200 North High Street
    Room 328
    Columbus, OH  United States  43215
  • Project Managers:

    Brokaw, Michael

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Cincinnati

    Civil Engineering Department, P.O. Box 210071, 741 Baldwin Hall
    Cincinnati, OH  United States  45221-0071
  • Principal Investigators:

    Swanson, James

  • Start Date: 20141103
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160503
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160503
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37430

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01542976
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 26601, 135031
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 1 2014 1:41AM