An Exploration of Lateral Load Distribution in a Girder-Slab Bridge in Gatesville, Texas

S. M. Barney, K. H. Frank, J. A. Yura, M. E. Kreger, and S. L. Wood


Older bridges currently in service can be tested to determine if the bridges behave as originally designed. Many current design methods are overly conservative. This research shows the results of the instrumentation and testing of the Leon River Bridge for its lateral distribution of live load. Tests were conducted to determine the response of the bridge to normal and overweight vehicles and to explore static and dynamic effects. Data was acquired in a simple and logical manner that gave insight into bridge behavior. This research also shows the benefits of computer modeling using SAP2000 and BRUFEM in this process. The actual moments from the test runs, estimated moments from BRUFEM, and design moments from various codes are compared in order to draw conclusions about the performance of the bridge, quality of the estimates, and the adequacy of accepted design tools.

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