Fracture Critical Steel Twin Tub Girder Bridges

Twin steel tub girder bridges are an aesthetically pleasing structural option, offering long span solutions in tight radii direct connectors. However, these bridges require a routine two-year inspection frequency, as well as a thorough hands-on inspection, because of their fracture critical designation. The heightened inspection requirements for fracture-critical bridges come at a significant cost to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Recent research has shown that tangent, or nearly tangent, twin steel tub girder sections can redistribute load to the intact girder after fracture of one of the girder bottom flanges. Additional research is required to develop recommendations for practical analysis of typical twin steel tub span configurations with the degree of curvature common to twin steel tub direct connectors. A key objective of this research is to develop more rigorous modeling and analysis methods utilizing software typically available to TxDOT and their consultant bridge designers. These analysis and modeling methods shall take into account the capacity of the fractured girder, especially at support locations, and realistically model the load distribution between the intact girder and the fractured girder. However, the modeling and analysis methods need to be sufficiently straightforward to be applied on a large scale to the inventory of steel tub bridges. The analysis method developed should meet the requirements outlined in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Memorandum (FHWA 2012).


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $449,738
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hurlebaus, Stefan

  • Start Date: 20160901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626214
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6937
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 17 2017 3:09PM