Project 1.21:Efficient and Cost-effective Rating of Critical Members of Steel Truss Railroad Bridges Supported by Field Test Data

Efficient and Cost-effective Rating of Critical Members of Steel Truss Railroad Bridges Supported by Field Test Data

Project 1.21

Project Summary

With the current rate of infrastructure ageing, the railroad bridges have been placed in the second plan for immediate replacement. However, highway and energy resources have shown a great need for prioritized capital investment. This research aims to establish a procedure to evaluate old steel truss bridges, using field data from the 21st-century measuring equipment. The proposed project will develop a systematic framework to apply analytical and experimental field-testing techniques to rate of critical members of truss railroad bridges using state-of-art equipment, such as 3D Laser Scan (3dLS) and Laser Doppler Vibrometers (LDV) (Figure 1 and Figure 2). First, the research team will work closely with New England’s Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and railroad companies to identify poorly rated bridges in the New England region, critical members/connections and possible structural failure modes. Second, an efficient and uniform method to estimate the maximum load and capacity of representative critical members of the selected type of truss bridges will be developed and rated based on the filed measured data. Similarly, the current filed measurement technique of section properties loss and critical connection will be enhanced with 21st-century technology.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Ramesh Malla


University of Connecticut

Project Status


Project Cost


Start Date


Project Type

Base Funded

End Date


Agency ID



Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, University Transportation Centers Program, Department of Transportation

Implementation of Research Outcomes:

This project is in its initial research phase. Implementation of research outcomes will be reported upon completion of the research outputs.

Impacts and Benefits of Implementation:

This project is in its research phase. Impacts and benefits of the research will be reported after the implementation phase.

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