Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 1-10-2024


Transportation departments have made significant strides in addressing the challenges posed by the increasing weights of trucks on bridges. While there is a growing awareness of overheight vehicle collisions with bridges, implementing effective countermeasures remains limited. The susceptibility of bridges to damage from such collisions is on the rise, further exacerbated by unpredictable lateral impact forces. This study employs nonlinear impact analysis to assess the response of an unprotected vehicle-girder model, yielding realistic deformation outcomes comparable to observed impacts on the US-61 bridge. Predictions for a truck traveling at 112.65 km/h indicate deformations of 0.229 m, 0.161 m, and 0.271 m in the lateral bottom flange, vertical bottom flange, and lateral web, respectively. These substantial deformations compromise the structural integrity of impacted bridges, necessitating closures for safety and subsequent rehabilitation. To address this challenge, we propose innovative sacrificial cushion systems designed to dissipate the energy of overheight vehicle impacts. Leveraging Sorbothane high-impact rubber as a representative material, we model its behavior in ANSYS. Among three sacrificial schemes, a sandwich system emerges as the optimal solution, effectively safeguarding both the bridge and the overheight vehicle. This mitigation strategy reduces lateral deflection in the bottom flange by 89%, while stresses in the bridge girder and upper vehicle section are lowered by 82% and 25%, respectively. These findings underscore the efficacy of the proposed sacrificial system as a robust mitigation measure. In summary, this research advances bridge resilience and overheight vehicle mitigation through innovative sacrificial cushion systems, providing a promising avenue for enhancing structural longevity and safeguarding against collision-induced vulnerabilities.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

TRB 103rd Annual Meeting, Steel Bridges: Complex Connections, Bridge Resilience, and Improved Shear Performance, Event Number: 4010, Lectern Session, Presentation Number: P24-20557, Jan 10, 2024, Washington DC

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