Impact and Feasibility Study of Solutions for Doubling Heavy Vehicles

The useful service life of a bridge deck and girder is a function of a number of several variables: load magnitudes, number of load cycles, and decision as to when it should be renewed (by overlay or replacement). Many of the details used in older steel bridge girders are particularly prone to fatigue failures directly related to truck weight. Repetitive loading may cause fatigue cracking in these steel members and limit the service life of a bridge. Truck-weight frequency distributions by vehicle type (i.e., truck weight histograms) are needed to estimate the effects on remaining life and the costs caused by changes in legal and permit truck weights. Changing truck weights can affect the truck weight histograms. Because carrying higher payloads can reduce the operating costs of truck operators, the possibility of a growing share of freight (e.g., shifting from rail to truck) will be considered in estimating the future truck weight distribution and truck traffic. The first objective of the research is to quantify the effect of meeting increasing freight demands with heavier trucks to reduce the growth in the number of trucks on the road. Specifically, the effect of heavier trucks on bridge infrastructure will be quantified with regard (to) the force effects experienced by the bridges and the effects on the durability and longevity of bridges. The second objective is to compare the effect of heavier trucks with the doubling in the number of heavy vehicles under the present legal weight restrictions. The primary goal of both tasks is to determine if allowing an increase in truck weight provides better or worse bridge durability and longevity when compared to increasing the number of trucks to meet freight demands. Finally, specific configurations of heavy trucks, such as additional axles or long-combinations, will also be investigated to minimize the effect of a weight increase and reduce the impact to bridges.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $200254.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Florida International University

    Miami, FL  United States 

    Florida Department of Transportation

    605 Suwannee Street
    Tallahassee, FL  United States  32399-0450

    Alabama Department of Transportation

    1409 Coliseum Boulevard
    Montgomery, AL  United States  36130-3050

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Alabama, Birmingham

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    1075 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL  United States  35294

    University of Central Florida, Orlando

    P.O. Box 25000
    Orlando, FL  United States  32816

    Florida International University

    Miami, FL  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Uddin, Nassim

  • Start Date: 20120501
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140830
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33613

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01640925
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12GUTC12, A0-UTC-060
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 13 2017 1:01AM