A Loading Study of Older Highway Bridges in Virginia

Report No: 76-R42

Published in 1976

About the report:

A comprehensive field test was conducted on a highway truss bridge in Allegheny County, Virginia, in July 1974. All typical truss members as well as structural members of the bridge floor system were instrumented and unit strains measured when the structure was loaded with a 3-axle tractor trailer weighting 78,000 lb. placed in incremental positions throughout its length. The purpose of the study was to determine the present capacity of this representative older type design that was used extensively in the 1920's and 1930's and is represented in many bridges which remain in use today. Although the structure was designed for two 30,000 lb. vehicles passing, it was found that the static loading of the 78,000 lb. test vehicle did not cause serious stresses.

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.


  • H. L. Kinnier

Last updated: January 29, 2024

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