Load Testing for Assessment and Rating of Highway Bridges

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Load Testing for Assessment and Rating of Highway Bridges 

The research in this document is the final part of the three phase project entitled Load Rating and Assessment Program for Highway Bridges in South Carolina.  This project is a joint venture between the Civil Engineering Department at Clemson University and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDoT) to develop a data-driven rating process to assess and rate bridges in the SCDoT inventory.  Currently, SCDoT bridges are rated based on yearly, or more frequently for problematic bridges, visual inspections by trained technicians.  These inspections are very conservative in nature due to the fact that any significant sense of distress in the bridge will result in the inspector requesting the bridge be posted. While this distress may exist, it may not significantly affect the overall load carrying capacity of the bridge, and therefore the posting of the bridge may not be warranted.  This data-driven rating system will reduce the subjective judgment of the bridge inspectors through the use of computer models and field load testing, and result in a numerically calculated load rating

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