Load Testing and Load Distribution Response of Missouri Bridges Retrofitted with Various FRP Systems Using a Non-Contact Optical Measurement System


For the many benefits that technology offers, Strengthening structures with Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite systems has been growing in popularity over recent years. A project entitled “Preservation of Missouri Infrastructure: Validation of FRP Composite Technology through Field Testing” was undertaken in Missouri which was designed to push forward composite strengthening schemes for use on real structures. Using five deficient bridge structures demanded that the strengthened structures be monitored for performance to verify that the composites were working and that they were not degrading over time. Monitoring the structures meant scheduling load tests for all five bridges. Difficulties in using traditional monitoring equipment due to site constraints, like Linear Variable Displacement Transducer (LVDT) systems, on these structures required the search for a better monitoring system. This paper presents high-precision Surveying Equipment as a new serviceability monitoring system for load testing; the materials, procedures, and data analysis techniques are discussed. This paper also presents the results of the load testing and the load distribution. All five strengthened bridges are compared in terms of serviceability before and after strengthening results to show that the FRP strengthening systems are performing acceptably. FEM modeling is performed to compare analytical predictions to measured values.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Load Transfers; Load Tests; Polymer Fibers; Retrofitting; Bridges -- Design and construction; Bridges -- Maintenance and repair; Bridges -- Missouri; Composite materials; Fiber-reinforced plastics

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 Transportation Research Board, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006