Bridge Analysis, Design and Repair

Full Session with Abstracts

337101-2 - Smart Timber Bridge – Glulam Timber Bridge on Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Abutments

Friday, April 20
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: 102

In 2016 Iowa State University’s (ISU) Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) in cooperation with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory designed and built a timber bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa. This structure is a single-span glulam girder bridge with transverse glulam deck panels founded on a geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) abutments; the first of this kind in the USA.

This project is a cooperation between Buchanan County, Iowa, FHWA, U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and Iowa State University’s Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) and involved the construction and structural health monitoring of a glued-laminated timber (glulam) superstructure on GRS-IBS abutments. This new glulam bridge replaced a sawn timber stringer bridge built circa 1940. The bridge superstructure spans 50 ft (15.24 m), and consists of 6 glulam stringers measuring 8.5 in (216 mm) wide by 48 in (1.22 m) deep along with a 30 ft (9.14 m) wide glulam deck. The bridge railing system consisting of a glulam rail supported by glulam posts that meets the requirements for test level 2 crash-testing criteria in the USA.

The BECAS monitoring system on the Smart Timber Bridge consists of moisture sensors and strain sensors installed on the bridge superstructure. Data is collected and processed and sent to base computers at ISU continuously and autonomously and allows for detecting of truck events, determination of number of truck axles, axle spacing, truck speed, transverse truck position and calculation of load rating factors for each truck. Long term monitoring enables researchers to evaluate GRS-IBS system performance with respect to variables of time, ambient conditions, and loading. This paper will provide an overview of the design, construction, and field monitoring for this smart timber bridge project.

Travis Hosteng

Director-National Center for Wood Transportation Structures
Iowa State University

Mr. Hosteng is the Director of the National Center for Wood in Transportation Structures (NCWTS) which is housed at Iowa State University and a partnership between the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, the Federal Highway Adminstration and the National Park Service. In addition, Mr. Hosteng is also a veteran research engineer with the Bridge Engineering Center (BEC), a Center within InTrans at Iowa State University (ISU). After receiving his B.S. and M.S. degrees from ISU, he continued his career as a research engineer at the BEC beginning in 2004 and took over as Director of the NCWTS in 2013. Mr. Hosteng has directed and contributed to numerous bridge related research projects funded by local, state, federal, and industrial clients. His specialty areas include timber bridge design/testing, high performance material behavior, structural health monitoring, bridge rating through physical testing, bridge behavior and testing and accelerated bridge construction and testing. Overall, he has nearly 14 years of experience with nearly 13 years of experience designing, inspecting, instrumenting and full-scale load testing bridges and other transportation structures. Mr. Hosteng is a registered professional engineer in the state of Iowa.


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337101-2 - Smart Timber Bridge – Glulam Timber Bridge on Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Abutments

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