Performance-Based Assessment and Rating

This research uses using displacement measurements of steel railroad bridges to assess their performance quality. Measuring bridge movements is difficult because a fixed reference point is not normally available. Researchers carried out multiple monitoring campaigns of the main trusses of the BNSF railroad’s Burlington Bridge over the Mississippi River, both before and after the old bridge was replaced. Wireless accelerometers and strain gauges also collected data from both structure and rail. This research shows results toward the use of displacement for assessment, proposing displacement service limits for cost-effective management of steel railroad bridges in North America.