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Title: Service life assessment of timber highway bridges in USA climate zones

Source: World Conference on Timber Engineering, WCTE 2014, Quebec City, Canada August 10-14; 2014; p. 8. Electronic proceedings via internet; 2014.

Author(s)Wacker, James P.; Brashaw, Brian K.; Williamson, Thomas G.; Jones, P. David; Smith, Matthew S.; Hosteng, Travis K.; Strahl, David L.; Coombe, Lola E.; Gopu, V.J.

Publication Year: 2014  View PDF »

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

Abstract: As engineers begin to estimate life-cycle costs and sustainable design approaches for timber bridges, there is a need 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. 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. These inspection results will be eventually incorporated into an ongoing national program effort aimed at monitoring the long-term performance of various types of highway bridges in the USA.

Keywords: Life-cycle cost; inspection; durability; wood; timber; bridge; performance; superstructure; service life

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 352 kb(s)

Date posted: 10/01/2014

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 70121
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Wacker, James P.
Research General Engineer

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