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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 859486, 11 pages
Research Article

Live-Load Testing Application Using a Wireless Sensor System and Finite-Element Model Analysis of an Integral Abutment Concrete Girder Bridge

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University, 4110 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA

Received 3 July 2014; Revised 15 September 2014; Accepted 3 October 2014; Published 23 October 2014

Academic Editor: Eugenio Martinelli

Copyright © 2014 Robert W. Fausett et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As part of an investigation on the performance of integral abutment bridges, a single-span, integral abutment, prestressed concrete girder bridge near Perry, Utah was instrumented for live-load testing. The live-load test included driving trucks at 2.24 m/s (5 mph) along predetermined load paths and measuring the corresponding strain and deflection. The measured data was used to validate a finite-element model (FEM) of the bridge. The model showed that the integral abutments were behaving as 94% of a fixed-fixed support. Live-load distribution factors were obtained using this validated model and compared to those calculated in accordance to recommended procedures provided in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (2010). The results indicated that if the bridge was considered simply supported, the AASHTO LRFD Specification distribution factors were conservative (in comparison to the FEM results). These conservative distribution factors, along with the initial simply supported design assumption resulted in a very conservative bridge design. In addition, a parametric study was conducted by modifying various bridge properties of the validated bridge model, one at a time, in order to investigate the influence that individual changes in span length, deck thickness, edge distance, skew, and fixity had on live-load distribution. The results showed that the bridge properties with the largest influence on bridge live-load distribution were fixity, skew, and changes in edge distance.