Experimental verification of horizontally curved I-girder bridge behavior

Brett A. McElwain, Jeffrey A. Laman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Past research has been conducted on the behavior of horizontally curved girders by testing scaled models and full-scale laboratory bridges and by analyzing numerical models. Current design specifications are based on this past research; however, little field data of in-service bridges exist to support the findings of the past research on which the current design criteria are based. The purpose of the present study was to gather field response data from three in-service, curved, steel I-girder bridges to determine behavior when subjected to a test truck and normal truck traffic. Transverse bending distribution factors and dynamic load allowance were calculated from the data collected. Numerical grillage models of the three bridges were developed to determine if a simple numerical model will accurately predict actual field measured transverse bending distribution, deflections, and cross-frame and diaphragm shear forces. The present study found that AASHTO specifications are conservative for both dynamic load allowance and transverse bending moment distribution. The grillage models were found to predict with reasonable accuracy the behavior of a curved I-girder bridge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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