A Simplified Shear-Strain Based Bridge Weigh-In-Motion Method For In-Service Highway Bridges
Bridge Weigh-In-Motion (BWIM) has been demonstrated to be reliable for obtaining critical information about the characteristics of trucks that travel over the highways. Continued improvements provides greater opportunity for increased use of BWIM. Traditional BWIM systems based on measuring the bending strain of the bridge have various challenges which has led to a class of BWIM methodologies that employ the use of shear strain in determining the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of crossing trucks. However, the known techniques of these shear-strain BWIM methods assume or measure the shear influence line for the calculation of the GVW. In this paper, an alternative shear-strain based BWIM technique is proposed. The method presented here is independent of the influence line, does not require a measurement of the speed of the truck, and is based on the difference in magnitude observed at the discontinuity of the shear strain record as a truck crosses over the sensor location on the bridge. A series of field tests is presented that demonstrate this shear-strain based BWIM method has error levels consistent with other more complex BWIM methods and as such has great potential to be used for determining the GVWs of trucks that travel on simple or multispan bridges in a consistent and reliable manner.