Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report SPR P104 P568 Final Report 26-1118-0067-001


Copyright 2009 Mid-America Transportation Center


The previously performed market analysis of bridge material in the range of short to medium span length indicates a declining trend for steel girders during the last two decades. The “simple for dead, continuous for live load” is a new method of bridge construction aiming at reducing the steel girder construction expenses and in essence enhancing the steel girders’ competitiveness in the short to medium span length bridges. This method of construction takes the advantage of the simple span construction as well as reduction of the forces in the bridge elements due to the continuous span behavior. The continuity of girders is provided by reinforcements in deck and concrete diaphragm after the concrete is hardened. In this case therefore, the field splices are eliminated and there is no need for temporary shoring. Due to the novelty of the idea and the fact that not many bridges have been constructed using this idea, there was a need to monitor the behavior of a bridge constructed using the “simple for dead, continuous for live load” method. The main objective of this project was to closely monitor the behavior of a bridge constructed using simple for dead, continuous for live load idea during the construction, right after the construction before opening to traffic, and in long-term under traffic load. Extensive instrumentation was installed on the bridge. The results of this project provides a better understanding of the behavior of the new system, further utilizing the system in future practices, and potential problems associated with the new system and their possible remedies.