The need to upgrade a large number of understrength and obsolete bridges in the U.S. has been well documented in the literature. Through several Iowa DOT projects, the concept of strengthening simple-span bridges by post-tensioning has been developed. The purpose of the project described in this report was to investigate the use of post-tensioning for strengthening continuous composite bridges. In a previous, successfully completed investigation, the feasibility of strengthening continuous, composite bridges by post-tensioning was demonstrated on a laboratory 1/3-scale-model bridge (3 spans: 41 ft 11 in. x 8 ft 8 in.). This project can thus be considered the implementation phase. The bridge selected for strengthening was in Pocahontas County near Fonda, Iowa, on County Road N28. With finite element analysis, a post-tensioning system was developed that required post-tensioning of the positive moment regions of both the interior and exterior beams. During the summer of 1988, the strengthening system was installed along with instrumentation to determine the bridge's response and behavior. Before and after post-tensioning, the bridge was subjected to truck loading (1 or 2 trucks at various predetermined critical locations) to determine the effectiveness of the strengthening system. The bridge, with the strengthening system in place, was inspected approximately every three months to determine any changes in its appearance or behavior. In 1989, approximately one year after the initial strengthening, the bridge was retested to identify any changes in its behavior. Post-tensioning forces were removed to reveal any losses over the one-year period. Post-tensioning was reapplied to the bridge, and the bridge was tested using the same loading program used in 1988. Except for at a few locations, stresses were reduced in the bridge the desired amount. At a few locations flexural stresses in the steel beams are still above 18 ksi, the allowable inventory stress for A7 steel. Although maximum stresses are above the inventory stress by about 2 ksi, they are about 5 ksi below the allowable operating stress; therefore, the bridge no longer needs to be load-posted.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Engineering Research Institute

    Iowa State University, 104 Marston Hall
    Ames, IA  United States  50010

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Authors:
    • Klaiber, F W
    • Dunker, Kenneth F
    • Planck, S M
    • Sanders Jr, W W
  • Publication Date: 1990-2

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 177 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00493609
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: IDOT Proj HR-308, ISU-ERI-Ames-90210
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1990 12:00AM