Implementation and Non-destructive Evaluation of Composite Structural Shapes in the Tom's Creek Bridge

Report No: 00-CR7

Published in 2000

About the report:

A bridge rehabilitation utilizing a hybrid fiber reinforced polymeric composite has been completed in Blacksburg, Virginia. This project involved replacing the superstructure in the Tom's Creek Bridge, a rural short-span traffic bridge with a timber deck and corroded steel girders, with a glue-laminated timber deck on composite girders. In order to verify the bridge design and to address construction issues prior to the rehabilitation, a full-scale mock-up of the bridge was built and tested in the laboratory. This set-up utilized the actual composite beams, glue-laminated timber deck panels, and geometry to be implemented in the rehabilitation. After the rehabilitation was completed, the bridge was field tested under a known truckload. Both tests examined service load deflections, girder strains, load distribution, the degree of composite action, inter-panel deck deflections, and impact factor. The field test results indicate a service load deflection of L/400 under moving loads and a factor of safety of over 7 using the projected A-allowable for beam flexural strength. The data from the field test serves as a baseline reference for future field durability assessments as part of a long-term performance and durability study.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • M. D. Hayes, J. Haramis, John J. Lesko, Thomas E. Cousins, John C. Duke, Richard E. Weyers, Jose P. Gomez, Ph.D., P.E.

Last updated: December 11, 2023

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