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Title: Overview of the National Timber Bridge Inspection Study

Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-226. pp. 610-615.

Author(s)Wacker, James P.; Brashaw, Brian K.; Jalinoos, Frank

Publication Year: 2013  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4714-3B

Abstract: As many engineers begin to implement life cycle cost analyses within the preliminary bridge design phase, there is a significant need for more reliable data on the expected service life of highway bridges. Many claims are being made about the expected longevity of concrete and steel bridges, but few are based on actual performance data. Because engineers are least familiar with timber bridges, their expected longevity is often unfairly estimated at only 25-30 years. A national scale project has been developed for the United States, led by the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. In this project, a group of 6 bridge inspection teams, representing the major climate zone types in the U.S., each inspected at least 20 timber bridges. Nondestructive inspection techniques included visual, probing, sounding, stress wave, and resistance micro-drilling. The study results will help to provide a better understanding of the design, performance, and durability characteristics of timber bridge structures. This paper will highlight the overall inspection findings, which were instrumental in reliably estimating the expected service life for timber bridge superstructures and help support future designs that employ life cycle and sustainable features.

Keywords: bridge, inspection, nondestructive evaluation, service life, durability, condition

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 1,067 kb(s)

Date posted: 10/24/2013

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 66565
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Wacker, James P.
Research General Engineer
  

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