The instrumentation, testing, and structural modeling of a steel girder bridge for long-term structural health monitoring

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Lefebvre, Paul J
Engineering; Civil
thesis / dissertation description
The currently accepted bridge design practice is individual element design through approximate "worst-case" loading scenarios and distribution with appropriate safety factors. The resulting design is not necessarily representative of the true behavior of a bridge. Computer structural modeling advancements have made it practical to improve the design process by capturing the design intelligence in the bridge model for use in bridge management and condition assessment. Nearly 1/3 of U.S. bridges are nearing the end of their design life and the design of the next generation of highway bridges has begun. The time is optimum to consider advancements in bridge design protocol for inclusion of baseline modeling.A baseline structural model is created and verified using collected field data during construction. This model is then integrated with instrumentation and field testing as part of a long-term structural health monitoring program. The model can be used and updated for the purpose of design verification, condition assessment, load rating and proactive maintenance.