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Comparative durability of timber bridges in the USAAuthor(s): James P. Wacker; Brian K. Brashaw
Source: In: The international research group on wood protection, Section 2, Test methodology and assessment: Paper prepared for the IRG48 Scientific Conference on Wood Protection. Ghent, Belgium: 1-12.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
PDF: Download Publication (538.0 KB)
DescriptionAs engineers begin to utilize life-cycle-cost design approaches for timber bridges, there is a necessity for more reliable data about their durability and expected service life. This paper summarizes a comprehensive effort to assess the current condition of more than one hundred timber highway bridge superstructures throughout the United States. This national study was jointly administered by the Forest Products Laboratory and the Federal Highway Administration and relied on data from the National Bridge Inventory database. In-depth inspections were conducted using visual and non-destructive evaluation techniques to characterize the condition of the primary bridge components and detect any structural deficiencies. The most popular superstructure system studied in this project was the multiple sawn stringer and plank deck system. This system was evaluated in a number of wood hazard (climate) zones with numerous examples of 60 or 70 year service records. The durability of the timber bridges studied was predicated on use of pressure treated materials for the primary structural members as required by the national bridge design code.
CitationWacker, James P.; Brashaw, Brian K. 2017. Comparative durability of timber bridges in the USA. In: The international research group on wood protection, Section 2, Test methodology and assessment: Paper prepared for the IRG48 Scientific Conference on Wood Protection. 4-8 June 2017. Ghent, Belgium: 1-12 pp.
KeywordsCondition, inspection, bridge, service life, superstructure, durability, preservative
- Service life assessment of timber highway bridges in USA climate zones
- A Field Assessment of Timber Highway Bridge Durability in the United States
- Monitoring the performance of timber bridges over the long term
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