Bridge Management, Inspection and Sustainability

Full Session with Abstracts

340652-3 - Structural Identification of a Steel Girder Bridge

Friday, April 20
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: 203A

A conventional steel girder bridge located in Anderson County, Tennessee began to visually displayed signs of significant degradation. The cause of the issues were unknown to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. As a result, a full structural identification of the bridge was performed. The primary objective of the study was to determine the root cause of the deterioration along with developing recommendations for a future rehabilitation. A visual assessment of the structure was performed along with review of all existing documentation. Next a preliminary 3D finite element model was created and analyzed to understand the way the bridge was intended to behave. Using all this information an instrumentation plan was developed for two field experiments. This included measurement of the girder strains, displacements, and temperatures. The intent was to characterize the service live load behavior as well as the thermal behavior of the structure. Data processing was conducted followed by finite element model calibration. The calibrated model was utilized to run different scenarios which uncovered the root cause of the degradation. The bridge and approach spans were improperly detailed for thermal movement. Scenario analysis was also performed to determine the most appropriate rehabilitation strategy. Overall, the structural identification process proved to be an effective and comprehensive evaluation method.

Matthew Yarnold

Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University

Matthew Yarnold began his career at Lehigh University where he received his BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering (2003 and 2005, respectively). Following graduation he accepted a position as a bridge engineer for Ammann & Whitney, during which time he contributed to more than fifteen bridge design and rehabilitation projects along with obtaining his professional engineering license. In 2009 he returned to academia for pursuit of his PhD from Drexel University completing the degree requirements in March of 2013. The following four years Dr. Yarnold was an assistant professor at Tennessee Technological University performing structural engineering research along with teaching several fundamental courses. Recently he accepted a position at Texas A&M University.

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