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Truck Platooning Strength and Service Performance Evaluation and Load Rating Guidance for I-Girder Bridges

Bowen Yang, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A truck platoon consists of two or more trucks linked together in a convoy with close headways using connectivity technology and automated driving systems. Effective platooning can save fuel, benefit the environment, and improve traffic operations. Legal platoon load effects with constant headways on bridges have been evaluated for limited cases and compared to AASHTO design and legal loads. However, I-girder bridges have not been evaluated for platoons as permit loads at strength and service limit states, potentially with reduced uncertainties within a reliability-based framework.This research provides a framework for determining how much a platoon permit load might be increased given strict control over the load characteristics and operational tactics. The present research evaluates strength and service limit states for steel and prestressed concrete I-girder bridges designed with Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD). Herein, platoons are assumed to be advanced regarding their operations and their ability to weigh and report axle weights and spacings using mobile-WIM (mWIM) systems. Consequently, live load statistics (bias and CoV) differ from code assumptions and are perhaps controllable.A parametric study considered different girder spacings, span lengths, numbers of spans, types of structures, truck configurations, numbers of trucks, and adjacent lane loading scenarios. Monte Carlo Simulation was used to conduct reliability analyses. Live load factors were calibrated for platoon permitting.The study investigated likelihood of cracking for prestressed concrete bridges. Fatigue performance of prestressed concrete bridges under legal and permit platoons was also preliminarily assessed using deterministic analyses. Equivalent numbers of stress cycles were determined, which may be useful for future platoon-related fatigue analyses, and preliminary guidance for maximum platoon bridge crossings was developed based on remaining fatigue and service life. This research indicates single lane legal load platoons (100% of legal load) with adjacent traffic for any headway from 5 ft to 50 ft can cross typical girder bridges without violating Strength I and Service II limits at the operating level. Headways from 15 ft to 50 ft will satisfy Service III limits at the inventory level.

Subject Area

Civil engineering|Environmental engineering|Engineering

Recommended Citation

Yang, Bowen, "Truck Platooning Strength and Service Performance Evaluation and Load Rating Guidance for I-Girder Bridges" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30814333.