Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Dimitris C. Rizos


The U.S. Army maintains a number of 'fixed' or 'semi-permanent' bridge types to ensure critical sustainment is uninterrupted along military supply routes, and the designs are classified as standard (panel) and nonstandard, e.g. Army Facilities Components Systems (AFCS). The AFCS bridges consist of a series of simply supported spans of lengths up to 60 ft while panel bridges are suitable for spans up to 200 ft. Both types are designed for military vehicles that do not meet current requirements. In addition, the volume and weights of these materials, and the need to build intermediate piers when longer gaps or heavier loads are encountered, often preclude their rapid deployment, and thus their use.

A research study that was recently completed at the University of South Carolina in collaboration with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory has identified the need of the U.S. Army for bridges that can span long gaps, that are readily deployable, and that benefit from the use of Vanadium-containing High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA-V) steel. Continuing research activities at the University of South Carolina have resulted in the development of a military bridge system that utilizes HSLA-V grade 70 steel in an innovative manner as the faceplates for a sandwich plate box girder bridge that can readily be assembled in 40 foot lengths by bolting. The proposed design is modular and suitable for single spans of overall length between 40 and 200 feet, accommodating all current military design vehicles, including extreme military vehicle loads, in one or two traffic lane configurations. The proposed bridge adopts the "bridge in a box" concept and is suitable for rapid construction. (Inman, 2009)

A prototype of the bridge has been built by a local steel fabrication shop. After being built, the prototype was shipped to a facility in Michigan. Several load tests were performed on the prototype. A finite element model has been created to duplicate the geometry and loading of the prototype. Test results have been obtained and analyzed for both the prototype and model.


© 2010, Grady Frederick Mathews