A Loading Study of Older Highway Bridges in Virginia

Report No: 78-R14

Published in 1977

About the report:

A 40-foot clear span, standard reinforced tee-beam bridge over the Tye River in Nelson County was tested with a 23-ton, tandem axle test vehicle in July 1976. The test span was one of four identical spans making a total bridge length of 170 feet. Strain gages were placed on the bottom face of each of the four stems, on the sides of the four stems, and on the underside of the bridge deck between the stems. In addition to the strains in 22 gages, midspan deflections were measured in gages on the four tee-beams for each position of the test vehicle. The purpose of this phase of the three-part study was to measure the live load response of this structure which is typical of a large number of tee-beam bridges built in Virginia and throughout the United States in the early twentieth century. The test results indicated that the experimental strains and deflections were much smaller than the live load stresses and deflections one would expect from the applied loads and calculations by conventional elastic structural theory.

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.


Other Authors

H. L. Kinnier

Last updated: January 27, 2024

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