InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Reliability-based criteria for load and resistance factor design code for wood bridges

Recently AASHTO adopted a load and resistance factor design code for highway bridges. The new code provides a rational basis for the design of steel and concrete structures. However, the calibration was not done for wood bridges. Therefore, there is a need to fill this gap. The development of statistical models for wood bridge structures is discussed. Recent test results provided a considerable amount of new data for sawed wood and glulam components. Statistical methods provide a good tool for development of rational models for loads and resistance. Because of the random
nature of load and resistance, reliability is a convenient measure of structural performance that also provides a rational basis for comparison of wood and other structural materials. The results of a recent project that led to development of rational design criteria for wood bridges are presented. The structural reliability of selected wooden bridges designed by
the AASHTO codes are determined, and inadequacies in load distribution and material resistance in the current specifications are identified.