All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Talat Salama

Advisory Committee Members

Virginia P Sisiopiku

Christopher Waldron

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Nearly one-quarter of Alabama's bridges are deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. An additional seven percent of Alabama's bridges were posted bridges in 2010. (Federal Highway Administration, 2011) Accurate bridge load rating can potentially reduce, and even remove, bridge postings throughout the state. Analytical structural bridge models were used to define new load ratings for ALDOT Bridges 005248, 005318, and 012296. With past methodology, Engineers' ratings tend to be inaccurate. This is due to the indefinite information in regards to actual traffic loading on bridges. This inaccuracy can lead to over-estimates of bridge safety or on the contrary, excessive conservatism in repairs. Gaining further knowledge on the actual behavior of bridges with the help of analytical models can help reduce inaccuracy in calculation. The University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA) tasked The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to verify analytical models from which accurate load rating could be obtained. ALDOT performed load testing and calculated ratings for bridges 005248 and 005318. The UAB team assisted ALDOT in gathering strain data for bridge 012296 via the Bridge Weigh-In-Motion (BWIM) technique. Bridge models for 005248 and 005318 proved capable of accurate load rating per data comparison as presented, and 012296 was load rated using Finite Element Modeling.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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