InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Prestressed Wood Bridges

Transverse prestressing of wood was conceived in 1976 as a method for rehabilitating nailed laminated wood decks. Since then the concept has become the subject of a major development program, aimed at revitalizing wood as a viable design alternative in bridge construction. This paper highlights the development of this type of construction from its original application to existing bridges, to the subsequent research and development leading to its inclusion in the Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code. Various field applications are discussed, including the recent design and construction of the first prototype prestressed wood bridge. Transverse prestresssing increases load distribution and results in a very efficient load sharing system. It promotes the use of lower grade materials, utilized renewable resources and requires far less energy than other construction materials.