The current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Specifications impose fairly strict limits on the use of its live-load distribution factor for design of highway bridges. These limits include requirements for a prismatic cross section, a large span-length-to-width ratio, and a small plan curvature. Refined analyses using 3D models are required for bridges outside of these limits. These limits place severe restrictions on the routine design of bridges in California, as box-girder bridges outside of these limits are frequently constructed. This paper presents the results of a study investigating the live-load distribution characteristics of box-girder bridges and the limits imposed by the LRFD specifications. Distribution factors determined from a set of bridges with parameters outside of the LRFD limits are compared with the distribution factors suggested by the LRFD specifications. For the range of parameters investigated, results indicated that the current LRFD distribution factor formulas generally provide a conservative estimate of the design bending moment and shear force.


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  • Accession Number: 00961866
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 26 2003 12:00AM