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Title: Effects of Barriers on Load Distribution in a Concrete Slab Span Bridge

Author(s): Kendall Hill

Publication: Web Session



Appears on pages(s):



Date: 10/17/2021

Characterization of load distribution is useful for determining the load rating of bridges, but results in the literature have shown that the structure type and presence of secondary elements both impact this distribution. The focus of this study was to determine how the load distribution in a concrete slab-span bridge was affected by the presence of concrete barriers. There are minimal studies reported in the literature that address this phenomenon in slab-span bridges. Field live load tests and a validated finite element modeling technique were used to study how the behavior of a slab-span structure was influenced by the presence of a concrete barrier. Field testing utilized a suite of instrumentation that included displacement potentiometers and tiltmeters. A three-dimensional solid-element finite element model was used to determine an expected range of behaviors and corroborate the field data regarding how load distributed when placed near and away from a barrier. Results indicated that the barrier had an impact on load distribution in concrete slab-span bridges. This impact could be quantified to determine the live load demand more accurately for use in load rating a concrete slab-span bridge.