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

Author(s): Kendall A. Hill, Benjamin Z. Dymond, Brock D. Hedegaard, Lauren E. Linderman

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 352


Appears on pages(s): 78-93

Keywords: barrier, bridge, finite element model, instrumentation, load distribution, load rating, reinforced concrete, slab-span, truck test

DOI: 10.14359/51734858

Date: 5/31/2022


Characterization of load distribution is useful for determining the load rating of bridges, and 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 through finite element modeling and a truck live load test. There are minimal studies reported in the literature that quantify this phenomenon in slab-span bridges. A three-dimensional solid-element finite element model was used to determine the distribution when load was placed near and away from a barrier. Truck testing utilized strain gauges and displacement transducers to characterize the effects of a barrier on load distribution. 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.