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Statistical Analysis of Weigh in Motion Data to Validate Use of HL-93 AASHTO Vehicle Live Load for Bridge Design in Vermont

Principal Investigator: Eric Hernandez
Funding Agency: USDOT

Project Summary

The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications prescribe the use of a design vehicular live load, designated as HL-93, consisting of a combination of a "design truck" plus a "design lane" or "design tandem" plus a "design lane" whichever creates the worst effect. These are not intended to represent any specific truck loading, or specific loading condition, but rather to provide a level of structural demand (in terms of bending moments, shears, deflections, etc.) such that it envelopes most vehicle loads that the bridge will be required to carry during its service life. The overall objective of the proposed research is to validate the use of the AASHTO HL-93 design vehicular live load for bridge design and rating in Vermont. The research methodology involves collecting/transferring/classifying data from WIM stations, statistical analysis of WIM truck data, high performance computing for stochastic structural analysis simulations and computation of the probability of exceedance of structural demands with respect to the LRFD HL-93 vehicular loading. At the end of the project, we will have a quantifiable estimate of the resulting structural reliability of bridges in Vermont if the HL-93 design load is adopted.