Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-1996

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Edward G. Dauenheimer

Second Advisor

William R. Spillers

Third Advisor

Walter Konon


This thesis investigates the use of nondestructive bridge load testing utilizing strain sensing equipment. Nondestructive bridge load testing has not been used extensively due to lack of expertise and perceived high cost. It can, however, play a key role when an existing bridge needs to be evaluated. Since most evaluation techniques tend to be conservative, the results from such an evaluation may not represent the real properties of the structural members. The true properties of an existing bridge can be identified using the results from nondestructive static and dynamic load testing. The procedures used to identify a structure with the potential to be used for load testing and the execution of a dynamic load test are outlined.

This thesis also presents the findings of a field study on a through-girder railroad bridge. The study was conducted on the NJ Transit's UG 7.96 Boonton Line over Broadway in Newark, New Jersey. This bridge consists of three simply supported spans, of varying length, and carries two ballasted tracks on continuously welded rail. Static and dynamic tests were performed involving controlled and in-service traffic conditions. The study demonstrates how load testing can be done effectively for a low cost and in a short period of time.



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