Extending the Life of Aged, Reinforced Concrete Arch Bridges through Load Testing and Monitoring

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Title: Extending the Life of Aged, Reinforced Concrete Arch Bridges through Load Testing and Monitoring

Author(s): Jeffrey Weidner, John Prader, Nathaniel Dubbs, Franklin Moon, A. Emin Aktan, John Taylor, and Clifford Skeens

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 323

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 12.1-12.16

Keywords: concrete arch bridge, load testing, long-term monitoring, model-experiment correlation, structural identification

Date: 5/1/2018

Abstract:
The state of West Virginia is home to a substantial population of bridges that are in service well past their initial design lives. As these bridges have aged, and inevitably deteriorated, management has become a challenge. In 2006, The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) enlisted the help of Drexel University to develop an approach to managing these structures, with a particular focus on reinforced concrete bridges with little to no documentation. One such structure was the Barnett Bridge, located near Parkersburg, WV. This filled concrete arch bridge was built in 1929 with a 90 foot (27.4m) single span over a small creek. The bridge was posted due to challenges in accurately load rating the structure with only minimal historical documentation. Working side by side with WVDOH, and through a combination of load testing, repairs, and targeted long-term monitoring, the bridge was left in service. This paper presents the case study of the Barnett Bridge, from when it appeared in the local newspaper in 2008 as one of the bridges in the state with the lowest sufficiency rating, to present day where it still serves the surrounding area, with a focus on the proof load test that served as the cornerstone for the revitalization of this structure.