Towering 876 feet over the New River Gorge in West Virginia, the New River Gorge Bridge is one of the highest vehicular bridges in the United States. It also is the longest steel arch bridge in the western hemisphere, with a main span of 1,700 feet. This presentation will discuss the inspection of the bridge over an eight-year period, the analysis and load rating of the bridge, and the preparation of rehabilitation plans.
The analysis and load rating was performed using a three-dimensional finite element model. This model incorporates wind and temperature loading, along with nine different truck configurations. The results of the analysis were used to calculate rating factors for over 4,500 members and over 1,800 gusset plates and connections. The collection and management of data, the configuration of the model, and the rating methods used for the gusset plates will be discussed.
The rehabilitation of the bridge includes steel repairs to the superstructure and substructure along with refurbishment of the bridge bearings. The presentation will include a detailed discussion of a proposed horizontal jacking operation that will be used to reset four large roller bearings located on top of steel bents at the intermediate joint locations. The rehabilitation work is currently under construction and the presentation will include an update of the work and a video of the actual jacking procedures.
B&N’s Matt Lewellyn, PE will present with William Varney, PE, State Bridge Engineer for the West Virginia Department of Transportation.