Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Richard Christenson, Sarira Motaref

Field of Study

Civil Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Proper management and maintenance of the highway transportation network is extremely important for the economy of the United States. A key to preservation of highways is gathering reliable truck traffic data which is currently being collected using weigh-stations and Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) technologies. One developing method of data collection is Bridge Weigh-in-Motion (BWIM), the process by which weight data can be calculated for trucks travelling over bridges whose components have been instrumented with sensors.

The research performed in this thesis involves post-processing and analysis of one year’s worth of strain measurements gathered from an existing BWIM system installed on a steel-girder bridge in Meriden, Connecticut. An algorithm is developed to calculate speeds and gross vehicle weights of trucks travelling over the in-service bridge, and the accuracy of the methodology is analyzed using data from test trucks and free-flowing traffic. Information is presented on the traffic pattern on this highway including average daily truck traffic, and truck speeds and weights.

The long-term strain responses of critical girders are also used to calibrate the live load factor in the Strength I combinations of the AAHSTO LRFD specifications. Live loads due to truck traffic are simulated using Extreme Type I predictions using critical responses from the in-service bridge. Results show that the live load factor is conservative for this bridge configuration and can be reduced by as much as 9% for certain type of bridges in the state of Connecticut.

Major Advisor

Shinae Jang