Performance Monitoring of Jointless Bridges, Phase III
Dr. Scott Civjan, Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Massachusetts/Amherst
Sponsor: Vermont Agency of Transportation
Integral abutment bridges have been constructed by State Departments of Transportation for a number of years. These bridges have been found to be cost effective from both an initial cost and life-cycle cost analysis. However, common design guidelines are lacking and non-uniform limitations on IAB design are imposed by different agencies. In order to evaluate design guidelines, the Vermont Agency of Transportation has initiated a program of field instrumentation and analysis to evaluate the performance of three IABs planned for construction. The research components are being conducted by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Three bridges are included, a straight bridge with 43.0 meter span, a 15 degree skew bridge with 37.0 meter span, and a curved two-span continuous structure with 11.25 degrees of curvature and 68.0 meter total bridge length. The bridges are instrumented with 83, 89, and 131 gages, respectively. Instrumentation includes strain gages, pressure cells, crackmeters, inclinometers, tiltmeters and thermostats. UMass developed instrumentation plans, worked on site with contractors for the installation of all gages and data acquisition and is collecting long term data. Data being collected and evaluated includes that obtained during construction, during live load testing, and over long term seasonal thermal changes. FEM modeling of each structure is also being completed and compared to field data. All three structures were completed and opened to traffic in late 2009.