Joint-Effort Mobile Bridge Load-Capacity Evaluation Invention is “a Hit”
Volume and load demand on much of the U.S. surface transportation system exceeds what it was designed to carry. This, and inevitable aging, is especially hard on bridges. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the average age of U.S. bridges is 43 years, and 56,007 are rated structurally deficient. In an effort at addressing the deficiencies, Rutgers University created THMPER™ the first portable rapid-testing device that combines the three primary testing methods: modal impact testing, refined analysis, and FE model calibration, utlitizing custom software within a mobile data processing lab. This tool determines bridge load-ratings accurately, faster, more economically, and with less traffic disruption than conventional methods, thereby removing cost barriers that previously kept bridge owners from applying the more refined capacity-estimation methods on a wide scale.