Development of Load Rating Procedures for Deteriorated Steel Beam Ends

The purpose of this project is to identify a better methodology for determining the remaining load carrying capacity for deteriorating steel beam ends. Current methods are too conservative and may result in unnecessary bridge closings. The results of this project can provide Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) engineers more accurate ways to assess bridge conditions. As the Commonwealth’s bridges age, MassDOT is witnessing more and more instances of deterioration of the web at steel beams ends due to corrosion as a result of leaking bridge joints. This deterioration reduces the load carrying capacity of beams at a critical point where the beam sits on its bearing. In extreme cases, the web has failed and the bridge had to be closed. Therefore, the determination of the remaining load carrying capacity is very important, however there are no good methods for performing this analysis and so, it has been very difficult to calculate realistic estimates of the remaining capacity of the web. The research objectives are to develop models that include the beam end and a large part of the bridge structure to accurately simulate the loading and boundary conditions of the deteriorated zone. These models will then be used to develop procedures for determining the safe capacity of deteriorated beam ends that can be incorporated into the MassDOT Bridge Manual.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $198717
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Massachusetts Division
    55 Broadway, 10th Floor
    Cambridge, Massachusetts  United States  02142
  • Managing Organizations:

    Massachusetts Department of Transportation

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116
  • Project Managers:

    McMahon, Patrick

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    130 Natural Resources Road
    Amherst, MA  United States  01003
  • Principal Investigators:

    Gerasimidis, Simos

  • Start Date: 20170810
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190708
  • Actual Completion Date: 20190901
  • USDOT Program: Research and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690659
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 100516
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 8 2019 11:22AM