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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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Smart timber bridge on geo-synthetic reinforced soil abutments

The Catt Bridge is located in Buchanan County, Iowa, and is supported by GRS abutments and equipped with a smart bridge system.
The Catt Bridge is located in Buchanan County, Iowa, and is supported by GRS abutments and equipped with a smart bridge system.
Snapshot: Forest Service researchers partnered in the construction and monitoring of an innovative bridge abutment system, developed to be lower cost and faster to construct with improved performance and durability as compared to other abutments. In addition, the next generation of smart bridge concepts for a glulam girder timber bridge system are introduced.
Summary:

Recently, Buchanan County, Iowa, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory, and Iowa State University's Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) initiated a project involving the construction and monitoring of a glued-laminated (glulam) timber superstructure on Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Integrated Bridge System (IBS) abutments. The GRS-IBS was developed to be lower cost and faster to construct with improved performance and durability as compared to other abutments. The research team from the Forest Products Laboratory installed sensors in the substructure as well as in the bearings of the girders. Sensors within the abutment record in-ground conditions such as settlement, shifting, and moisture content to evaluate and monitor its long-term behavior. Data is collected remotely and transmitted continuously. Long-term monitoring enables researchers to evaluate GRS-IBS system performance with respect to variables of time, ambient conditions, and loading. The longitudinal glulam girder with a transverse glulam deck superstructure, the most commonly constructed timber bridge type, incorporates the use of sensors, data reduction techniques, and remote systems that allow for active monitoring of the bridge structural components. With these elements, the smart timber bridge is able to monitor in situ behavior, assess performance under service loads, detect damage or deterioration, and determine the current condition.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Wacker, James P.
 Senalik, Christopher Adam


Research Location:
  • Buchanan County, Iowa, USA


External Partners:
  • Buchanan County, Iowa
  • Iowa State University's Bridge Engineering Center (BEC)
  • U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Fiscal Year: 2017
Highlight ID: 1281
 
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