Load Testing for Assessment and Rating of Highway Bridges. Phase III: Technology Transfer to the SCDOT

Bridges are being subjected to higher traffic loads and volumes and many of these bridges were constructed prior to 1950 and were designed using design load standards significantly lower than today's standards. The objective in most bridge programs is to determine the reserve capacity in posted bridges and, if warranted, increase the posted load rating or perhaps remove the posting. The South Carolina bridge inventory has a large number of bridges categorized as deficient. While many of these bridges may be truly deficient, many may not be deficient and can be shown to be adequate with additional tools such as load testing to provide more accurate assessment of the bridge capacity. Other state DoTs have benefited from bridge testing programs, and while not being able to specifically quantify the cost savings, are convinced that their bridge testing program is an effective tool to reduce bridge retrofit and replacement costs. A bridge load rating and assessment program has been developed to allow for field testing, computer modeling, and a more accurate rating of the SCDoT bridge inventory. Modeling techniques were modified for generating preliminary and post-test models using the newly created Structural Modeling PowerBasic Program instead of SAP2000. The Data Analysis and Conversion Program was modified to allow for quicker data conversion, and an Excel Program was created to quickly complete the load rating calculations. A candidate bridge was analyzed theoretically using AASHTO standards and benefits determined from load testing were incorporated into the rating. This investigation indicates the SCDoT should move forward and implement a bridge testing program.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 133p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01090585
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-SC-06-08
  • Contract Numbers: 655 SCDoT
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2008 3:23PM