Experimental and analytical investigations of a folded plate model bridge
Bridge closed! An irritating sign for any traveller, is threatening to become a very common sign. Due to lack of maintenance, increases in the design load specifications set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and increased traffic volumes, thousands of deficient bridges need to be replaced, strengthened or repaired. Closing a large number of bridges or posting them for reduced loads can disrupt any country's surface transportation system. Out of approximately 578,000 highway bridges in the United States 39.9% have been rated deficient or functionally obsolete. The closing of a bridge for maintenance or emergency repairs always causes costly delays and inconvenience to the travelling public. The problems are more severe when the bridge is serving a high volume of traffic or is isolated from other bridges. Maintaining traffic and eliminating detours is a difficult problem faced by various bridge departments all over the country. Needed today is an alternative bridge system which is capable of supporting current traffic volumes and is economical and fast to construct.