An all-composite, smart bridge design for shortspan applications is described. The bridge dimensions are 9.14-m (30-ft.) long and 2.74-m (9-ft.) wide. A modular construction based on assemblies of pultruded fiber-reinforced-polymer (FRP) composite tubes is used to meet American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) H20 highway load ratings. The hollow tubes are 76 mm (3 in.) square and are made of carbon/vinyl-ester and glass/vinyl-ester. An extensive experimental study was carried out to obtain and compare properties (stiffness, strength, and failure modes) for a quarter portion of the full-sized bridge. The bridge response was measured for design loading, two-million-cycle fatigue loading, and ultimate load capacity. In addition to meeting H20 load criteria, the test article showed almost no reduction in stiffness or strength under fatigue loading and excellent linear elastic behavior up to failure. Fiber optic strain sensors were evaluated on the test article during testing. Sensor characteristics are determined as preparation for permanent field installation.

Meeting Name

7th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2004


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Third Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

2.74 M; 3 In; 30 Ft; 76 Mm; 9 Ft; 9.14 M; AASHTO H20 Highway Load Ratings; American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; H20 Load Criteria; Bridges (Structures); Carbon; Design Loading; Fatigue; Fatigue Loading; Fiber Optic Strain Sensors; Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Tubes; Fibre Optic Sensors; Fibre Reinforced Composites; Filled Polymers; Glass; Hollow Tubes; Linear Elastic Behavior; Modular Construction; Smart Composite Bridge Design; Stiffness Reduction; Transportation; Ultimate Load Capacity; Vinyl-Ester

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2004 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004