Structural health monitoring of highway bridges subjected to overweight trucks, phase I - instrumentation development and validation.
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Structural health monitoring of highway bridges subjected to overweight trucks, phase I - instrumentation development and validation.

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      Richard J. Schmidt

      ORCID number 0000-0003-1672-2625

      State departments of transportation (DOTs) in the west have been under increasing pressure to permit and route overweight trucks transporting machinery and equipment for the energy sector through their state and interstate highway systems. DOT engineers are called upon daily to rate their bridges for overweight trucks to determine appropriate truck routing and to assess the impacts of the trucks on bridge safety and durability. Many of these overweight trucks have nonstandard configurations, which further complicates the rating and permitting process. Hence, it is critical that bridge engineers in the DOTs develop confidence that their bridge analysis and rating software accurately predicts the response of bridges to overweight trucks, especially for bridges on the most frequently traveled routes.

      The long-term objectives of this project were to develop and validate an instrumentation package for structural health monitoring (SHM) of bridges subjected to overweight trucks and to develop plans for field deployment of the instrumentation on a pilot scale. Ultimately, the objective is to accurately correlate long-term field performance data to the behavior of the bridges predicted by analysis and rating software. The field instrumentation package incorporates use of optical fiber sensors, specifically fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), to monitor strains at critical locations in bridges that are considered most vulnerable to overweight truck loads and are most difficult to effectively rate with currently used software.

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