Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis



Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil Engineering


William G. Davids

Second Committee Member

Roberto A. Lopez-Anido

Third Committee Member

Eric Landis


This research focuses on understanding the behavior of five, non-composite, simple-span steel girder bridges using field load testing and calibrated finite element models. These bridges were tested during the summer of 2016. Strains and selected displacements were measured at multiple locations during the field load tests. 3D finite-element (FE) models were created to simulate the actual response of these bridges with a novel approach to calibrate these models was developed that captures the observed full and partial composite action as well as rotational restraint of the girder ends. More accurate predictions of the bridges capacity were determined using field tests. Field tests confirmed the presence of a degree of composite action and partial end restraint which effect the actual response of the bridge. Rating Factors were modified according to the provisions of AASHTO Manual for Bridge Evaluation (2010) using field data, and the average increase in moment rating factor was 51.6%. The results of the 3D FE models developed for each structure showed good agreement with the field data.

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