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Effects of State Legal Loads on Bridge Rating Results

Using the LRFR Procedure


Rebecca Hayworth1; X. Sharon Huo, M.ASCE2; and Lei Zheng3

Abstract: The main objective of this research was to study the effects of different specified trucks on bridge rating with the load and
resistance and factor rating LRFR procedure. Twelve specified trucks were selected for this study, which include one AASHTO design
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truck, three AASHTO legal trucks, and eight state legal trucks. These rating trucks were applied on 16 selected Tennessee Dept. of
Transportation bridges to obtain the LRFR ratings. The selected bridges covered four commonly used bridge types, including prestressed
I-beam bridges; prestressed box beam bridges; cast-in-place T-beam bridges; and steel I-beam bridges. The research results revealed that
1 LRFR AASHTO legal load ratings factors were enveloped by the LRFR HL-93 truck ratings factors, thereby confirming the validity
of the LRFR tiered approach with regard to AASHTO legal loads; 2 the lighter state legal trucks were enveloped by the HL-93 loads,
whereas the heavier state trucks with closer axle spacing typically resulted in load ratings that governed over the HL-93 loads; and 3 the
bridges with both high average daily truck traffic and short spans were more likely to be governed by state legal load ratings instead of
HL-93 load ratings.
DOI: 10.1061/ASCE1084-0702200813:6565
CE Database subject headings: Bridges; Bridge loads; Load factors; Ratings; Trucks; Load and resistance factor design.

Introduction and Type 3-S2 Moses 2001. Therefore, in order to obtain a truly
consistent level of safety, a bridge owner would need to perform
Load rating calculations generally are used to determine the struc- load rating calculations on three different legal load models in
tural capacity of existing highway bridges as well as to verify the addition to the required calculations of the HS20 design truck
safety of public traffic. With the ongoing implementation of load model. In the LRFR, the load factors are calibrated so that the
and resistance factor design specifications LRFD across the HL-93 design load envelopes or governs for all cases the
United States, there is an escalating need for a load rating meth- AASHTO legal loads: Type 3, Type 3-3, and Type 3-S2. Besides
the design trucks and AASHTO legal loads, many states have
odology that is consistent with the load and resistance factor phi-
various state legal truck models. These models can represent ac-
losophy AASHTO 2004; Densmore 2000. The AASHTO Guide
tual trucks that are used in the state or can be fabricated loading
Manual for Condition Evaluation and Load and Resistance Fac-
models similar to the design truck models. The current LRFR
tor Rating of Highway Bridges LRFR reflects the most current
manual specifies that state legal loads should be load rated in the
technologies and builds on the structural reliability approach in-
same manner as the AASHTO legal load Jaramilla and Huo
herent in the LRFD AASHTO 2003. This new guide manual
2005.
presents an innovative load rating philosophy that ensures a more For nonpermit load rating, the LRFR procedure is a tiered
uniform level of safety. approach. Fig. 1 shows the flowchart in the LRFR load rating
The key elements to the uniform reliability in LRFR are the procedure. If a check of the HL-93 design load yields a satisfac-
HL-93 design truck model and the load factors that have been tory inventory load rating for a bridge, then it can be assumed that
calibrated from structural reliability analysis Moses 2001; Min- the bridge will yield satisfactory load ratings for all legal loads.
ervino et al. 2004; Mertz 2004. The HS20 truck model of the Therefore, no further legal load analysis or state legal load rating
earlier Load Factor rating method did not provide a uniform level is required. However, it is unclear that what consequence of
of safety, and uniform reliability could only be obtained through load ratings the state legal loads will result in using the LRFR
the analysis of the three AASHTO legal loads: Type 3, Type 3-3, procedures.
It is the intention of this study to 1 verify that the AASHTO
1
Bridge Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, Tennessee Divi- legal loadsType 3, Type 3-3, and Type 3-S2are enveloped by
sion Office, Nashville, TN 37215 corresponding author. the LRFR HL-93 truck and 2 determine whether the various
2
Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tennessee state legal loads are enveloped by the LRFR HL-93 truck.
Technological Univ., P.O. Box 5015, Cookeville, TN 38505.
3
Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Tennessee Technological Univ., P.O. Box 5015, Cookeville,
TN 38505.
Selected Bridges and Load Rating Trucks
Note. Discussion open until April 1, 2009. Separate discussions must
be submitted for individual papers. The manuscript for this paper was Bridges
submitted for review and possible publication on August 13, 2007; ap-
proved on February 21, 2008. This paper is part of the Journal of Bridge Sixteen actual Tennessee bridges with a variety of superstructure
Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 6, November 1, 2008. ASCE, ISSN 1084- types were selected and studied. The types of superstructures in-
0702/2008/6-565572/$25.00. clude prestressed concrete box beams, reinforced concrete tee

JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING ASCE / NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 / 565

J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


closer axle spacing were chosen over those with longer axle spac-
ing. Descriptions and schematics of the eight selected state legal
loads are listed in Fig. 3.
Altogether, there were 12 load rating models eight state legal
loads, three AASHTO legal loads, and the LRFR HL-93 design
load which were applied to the selected 16 bridges using the
LRFR procedure.

Load Rating Using the LRFR

Required Analyses in the LRFR


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The basic rating equation in the AASHTO LRFR Manual is

C DCDC DWDW P P
RF = 1
LLL1 + IM

C = csRn, cs 0.85 2

where RF= rating factor; C = structural capacity; Rn = nominal


member resistance as inspected; DC= dead-load effect of struc-
tural components and attachments; DW= dead-load effect of
wearing surfaces and utilities; P = permanent loading other than
dead loads; LL= live-load effect; IM= dynamic load allowance;
DC = LRFD load factor for structural components and attach-
ments; DW = LRFD load factor for wearing surfaces and utilities;
P = LRFD load factor for permanent loads other than dead loads;
L = evaluation live-load factor; c = condition factor; s = system
factor, and = LRFD resistance factor.
Fig. 1. Load and resistance factor rating flowchart Mertz 2004, with As in LRFD, the LRFR uses limit states for strength, service,
permission from Transportation Research Board and fatigue to ensure safety and serviceability in the load rating.
The strength limit state accounts for the strength capacity of the
structure under permanent and live loading. The service limit state
accounts for stress, deformation, and crack width. The fatigue
beams, prestressed concrete I-beams, built-up steel I-girders, and limit state accounts for cyclical stress ranges to avoid fatigue
rolled steel I-beams. The bridges selected varied not only in su- cracking. Strength is the principal limit state and, therefore, is the
perstructure type but also in many other structure parameters such main determinant for bridge posting, closing, and repair. Both
as number of spans, span length, beam spacing, beam depth, skew service and fatigue limit states can be applied selectively to
angle, slab thickness, and simple span/continuous span. Table 1 bridges AASHTO 2003.
shows the details of 16 selected bridges. There are two levels of bridge load rating: inventory and op-
erating. The inventory rating level corresponds to the loads of
design level of reliability for new bridges while reflecting the
Rating Trucks
existing condition of the structure. The operating rating level cor-
The rating trucks considered in the study included the AASHTO responds to the maximum permissible live load the structure can
specified rating loads and selected state legal trucks. The three withstand safely. Bridge owners can calculate load ratings on both
standard AASHTO legal loads, Type 3, Type 3-3, and Type 3S2 operating and inventory levels using the LRFR method.
trucks, together with HL-93 design loads gave a total of four As shown in Table 2, the applicable limit states in LRFR/
specified rating loads. Descriptions and schematics of the four LRFD are dependent on the structure type. For example, when
specified rating loads are listed in Fig. 2. load rating a steel girder bridge with a design load, strength mo-
Seventy-two unique state legal load models from 18 different ment and shear and service ratings are applicable at both operat-
states were obtained. After close examination it was found that ing and inventory levels and fatigue is applicable at inventory
many of the trucks were very similar and the majority of models level; whereas for prestressed concrete bridges, strength rating is
could be represented with eight selected trucks. The eight trucks applicable at both operating and inventory levels, service rating is
were from the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mis- applicable only at inventory level, and fatigue is not applicable
sissippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. for any level of rating. The loading ratings in this research are
None of the selected trucks complied with the federal bridge performed in accordance with the limit states in the LRFR, in-
weight formula. The selected trucks were chosen to yield a vari- cluding strength inventory and operating as well as service inven-
ety of configurations. Similar trucks with heavier axle loads were tory and operating. Because fatigue is not appropriate for legal
generally chosen over those with lighter loads. Also, trucks with load rating, it was not considered.

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J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


Table 1. Information of Selected Bridges
Total bridge Maximum Number Beam Slab Skew
Bridge Number length span length of beam spacing thickness angle
number Bridge type of spans ft ft lines ft in. degrees
1 Precast concrete I-beam 1 85 85 4 6.42 8.25 50
2 Precast concrete I-beam 1 60 60 9 8.00 8.25 15
3 Precast concrete I-beam 3 145 48.67 10 7.88 8.25 15
4 Precast concrete I-beam 3 156 56 5 8.83 8.25 9.56
5 Precast concrete I-beam 2 86 43 4 8.00 8.00 30
6 Precast concrete bulb-tee beam 1 117 113.2 5 9.5 8.25 15
7 Precast concrete bulb-tee beam 1 108 105 4 7.75 8.25 0
8 Precast concrete box-beam 1 67 65 5 9 8.25 0
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9 Precast concrete box-beam 1 84 82 3 9.5 8.25 10


10 Precast concrete box-beam 3 197 58.8 4 8.67 8.25 10
11 Precast concrete box-beam 2 140 68.5 4 10.5 8.25 50
12 Cast-in-place concrete T-beam 1 40 40 4 8.17 9.375 0
13 Cast-in-place concrete T-beam 3 156 64 3 12.92 7.75 0
14 Steel I-girder 1 229.9 227.4 10 10.25 9.0 28.7
15 Steel I-beam 1 81 78.6 3 8.5 8.0 10
16 Steel I-girder 3 298 121 4 11.67 8.25 60

Live-Load Factors for State Legal Loads was not available. According to the LRFR manual, when ADTT is
unknown, the maximum legal live-load factor of 1.8 should be
LRFR live-load factors for legal loads, including both AASHTO
legal loads and state legal loads, are based on average daily truck used. However, using a 1.8 live-load factor was seen as an un-
traffic ADTT as shown in Table 3. For the bridges with avail- warranted penalty especially where, although specific truck traffic
able ADTT information, the strength live-load factors for the information was not available, it was well known that the truck
state legal trucks were determined by interpolating the values in traffic on a bridge was well below 5,000 trucks per day. There-
Table 3. For some of the bridges studied, truck traffic information fore, for these bridges, ADTT was estimated from average daily
traffic. One exception was made for a cast-in-place T-beam
bridge model which was a standard design and was used in sev-
eral locations. Because ADTT was truly unknown and could not
be estimated based on available data, the cast-in-place T-beam
STD G-5-10 was assigned a strength live-load factor of 1.8 for
state legal loads.

Total vehicle
Truck Details of Truck (Not to Scale)
Weight
Name Truck Axle Loads (Kips)
(kips)

Truck 1 8 32 40
14

Truck 2 18.4 25.3 25.3 69


10 4

Truck 3 20 14 20 20
74
10-6 4-3 4-5

Truck 4 8.5 16 16 18
58.5
10 4 14

8 20 20 16 16
Truck 5 80
12 4 10 4

12 14 20 20 14
Truck 6 80
8 4 8 4

Truck 7 8.24 8.24 8.24 8.24 8.24 20.6 20.6


82.4
14 4 4 4 4 4

Truck 8 4.1 10.5 10.5 8.45 8.45 19 19


80
9 4 9 4 4 4

Fig. 2. Specified AASHTO load rating trucks Fig. 3. Selected state legal load rating trucks

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J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


Table 2. Limit States and Load Factors for Load Rating LRFR Table 6-1
Design load 6.4.3.2.1
Legal load Permit load
Dead-load Dead-load Inventory Operating 6.4.4.2.1 6.4.5.4.1
Bridge type Limit statea DC DW LL LL LL LL
Steel Strength I 1.25 1.50 1.75 1.35 Table 6-5
Strength II 1.25 1.50 Table 6-6
Service II 1.00 1.00 1.30 1.00 1.30 1.00
Fatigue 0.00 0.00 0.75
Reinforced concrete Strength I 1.25 1.50 1.75 1.35 Table 6-5
Strength II 1.25 1.50 Table 6-6
Service I 1.00 1.00 1.00
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Prestressed concrete Strength I 1.25 1.50 1.75 1.35 Table 6-5


Strength II 1.25 1.50 Table 6-6
Service III 1.00 1.00 0.8 1.00
Service I 1.00 1.00 1.00
Wood Strength I 1.25 1.50 1.75 1.35 Table 6-5
Strength II 1.25 1.50 Table 6-6
a
Defined in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications AASHTO 2004.

Method to Perform LRFR Results and Discussions


The AASHTO Opis/Virtis design and rating software package
was used as an analysis tool for this study. All bridges were ini- LRFR AASHTO Legal Load Ratings
tially modeled from the acquired Tennessce Dept. of Transporta-
A total of three limit states and two loading conditions are con-
tion TDOT bridge plans using the Virtis rating program. Once
sidered in the comparison. They are the moment, shear, and ser-
the bridge model was completed in Virtis, the model was opened
viceability limit states under inventory and operating loading
in Opis using the shared database. At the time the research was
conditions, respectively. Fig. 4 shows the load rating factors for
performed, Opis was capable of doing LRFD design, but Virtis
the interior beams with the AASHTO legal load trucks versus the
was not fully capable of conducting LRFR rating.
load rating factors with the HL-93 live load for all bridges. The
The LRFD and LRFR are very similar overall in that both
line on the graph represents the unity points at which the rating
have the same primary elements that are needed for analysis: 1
factors for the HL-93 live load and AASHTO legal load truck
dead-load effect; 2 live-load effect; and 3 resistance. Although
would be equal. For all the data points above this line, the HL-93
some of the load factors in LRFD and LRFR differ, the same
rating factor is less than the AASHTO legal load rating factor and,
analytical procedures are applied for both LRFD and LRFR in
therefore, the HL-93 rating factor governs. For any data points
determination of the three primary elements listed earlier. Utiliz-
below the line, the AASHTO legal load rating factor is less than
ing this commonality between LRFD and LRFR, it was deter-
the HL-93 rating factor and, therefore, the state legal load gov-
mined that Opis could be used as a primary tool in performing
LRFR calculations in the following manner. First, an Opis LRFD erns. The exterior beams load rating results for AASHTO legal
design check was performed. From the LRFD design check, num- load trucks were studied and found to be similar to the interior
bers for unfactored dead-load effect, unfactored live-load effect, beam results.
and resistance were obtained from the BRASS output files and the Regardless of the traffic conditions, the AASHTO legal live-
Opis generated program reports. Then by entering these values load factors for all 16 bridges were set at the maximum value of
into the LRFR load rating equation, a LRFR rating factor could 1.8, see Table 3. Using the maximum live-load factor will result
be determined. Although the method was not fully automated, in the lowest possible AASHTO legal load rating factor, and
using Opis in this way was determined to be the best approach therefore is the most conservative case for comparison. Even with
with the current available resources. this added level of conservancy, AASHTO legal load rating fac-
tors were enveloped by the HL-93 design load rating for all cases
studied. These results verify that for the bridges studied, the
LRFR tiered approach shown in Fig. 1 is valid with regard to the
AASHTO legal loads.
Table 3. Generalized Live-Load Factors for Legal Loads: L LRFR
Table 6-5
LRFR State Legal Load Ratings
Traffic volume
one direction Load factor The comparison results of LRFR state legal load ratings and
LRFR HL-93 design load ratings for interior beams are shown in
Unknown 1.80
Fig. 5. The graphs are presented in the same manner as the ones
ADTT 5,000 1.80
in the previous section. The exterior beams load rating results for
ADTT= 1,000 1.65
state legal load trucks were studied and found to be similar to the
ADTT 100 1.40
interior beam results.

568 / JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING ASCE / NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


AASHTO Legal Rating Factors
AASHTO Legal Rating Factors
6 6
5 5
4 AASHTO 4 AASHTO
Type 3 Type 3
3 AASHTO 3 AASHTO
Type 3-3 Type 3-3
2 2
AASHTO AASHTO
1 Type 3S2 1 Type 3S2

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors
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a) Moment Inventory b) Moment Operating


6 6

AASHTO Legal Rating Factors


AASHTO Legal Rating Factors

5 5
AASHTO
4 4 AASHTO
Type 3
Type 3
3 AASHTO
3 AASHTO
Type 3-3
Type 3-3
2 AASHTO 2 AASHTO
Type 3S2
Type 3S2
1 1
0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors

c) Shear Inventory d) Shear Operating


AASHTO Legal Rating Factors
AASHTO Legal Rating Factors

6 6

5 5
AASHTO
4 Type 3 4 AASHTO
Type 3
3 AASHTO
Type 3-3
3 AASHTO
Type 3-3
2 AASHTO 2
Type 3S2 AASHTO
1 1 Type 3S2

0
0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors

e) Serviceability Inventory f) Serviceability Operating


Fig. 4. AASHTO Type 3 Trucks versus HL-93 design loadinterior beams

As shown in Fig. 5, several state legal loads produced load HL-93 design for all cases studied. Truck 4 is a four-axle load
ratings that governed over the HL-93 ratings. This is not consis- with a 29.25 t load spread across 28 ft. With the light weight and
tent with the AASHTO Guide Manual for Condition Evaluation large axle spacing, Truck 4 also generated higher rating factors
and Load and Resistance Factor Rating of Highway Bridges. The than the HL-93 design load for all cases studied. Therefore, as
results were further studied in an effort to determine how the shown in Fig. 5, the legal load ratings of these two trucks are
different factors affected the LRFR state legal load ratings. In the enveloped by the HL-93 design load ratings for all bridges and
following discussion, three factorstruck type, material type, and limit states considered.
bridge typeare examined for their effects on LRFR state legal
In the strength moment calculations, several load models pro-
load ratings.
duced load ratings that governed the HL-93 load ratings. Truck 6
Truck Type and Truck 8 showed the greatest impact on strength rating factors
Of the eight state legal load trucks, Truck 1 and Truck 4 are for the bridges studied. The Truck 8 moment ratings ruled over
the lightest in weight of all the trucks analyzed. Truck 1 is a the HL-93 truck operating moment ratings in 13 of the 32
two-axle load, similar to the two-axle HL-93 tandem load, but 40.6% operating level bridge cases and 2 of the 32 inventory
with lighter overall weight and wider axle spacing. It should be level bridge cases 6.3%. Truck 6 moment ratings governed in 11
noted that the HL-93 tandem load is combined with the HL-93 of the 32 34.4% operating level bridge cases studied and 2 of
uniform load to form a HL-93 design load model case. As a the 32 6.3% inventory level bridge cases. Although Truck 5 and
result, Truck 1 load generated higher rating factors than the Truck 7 have the same or larger truck weights, they had less

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J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


7 7

State Truck Rating Factors

State Truck Rating Factors


6 Truck 1 6 Truck 1
Truck 2 Truck 2
5 Truck 3 5
Truck 3
4 Truck 4 4 Truck 4
3 Truck 5 Truck 5
3
Truck 6 Truck 6
2 Truck 7 2 Truck 7
1 Truck 8 Truck 8
1
0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors
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a) Moment Inventory b) Moment Operating


7 7

State Truck Rating Factors


State Truck Rating Factors

6 Truck 1 6 Truck 1
5 Truck 2 5 Truck 2
Truck 3 Truck 3
4 Truck 4 4 Truck 4
3 Truck 5 3 Truck 5
Truck 6 Truck 6
2 2
Truck 7 Truck 7
1 Truck 8 1 Truck 8
0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors

c) Shear Inventory d) Shear Operating

7 7
State Truck Rating Factors
State Truck Rating Factors

6 Truck 1 6 Truck 1
Truck 2 Truck 2
5 5
Truck 3 Truck 3
4 Truck 4 4
Truck 4
3 Truck 5 3 Truck 5
Truck 6 Truck 6
2 2
Truck 7 Truck 7
1 Truck 8 1 Truck 8
0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
HL-93 Rating Factors HL-93 Rating Factors

e) Serviceability Inventory f) Serviceability Operating


Fig. 5. State legal trucks versus HL-93 design loadinterior beams

impact on the bridges studied. This is likely due to Truck 5 and factor is in the denominator of the LRFR load rating equation, a
Truck 7 having larger axle spacing between their heaviest axle larger factor will produce a smaller rating factor.
loads. In general, it was found that strength moment ratings were
In serviceability ratings, several trucks again produced load sensitive not only to overall weight but also to the truck configu-
ratings that were lower than the HL-93 load ratings. Truck 8 ration. For strength shear ratings, the truck configuration did not
showed the greatest impact on service rating factors for the seem to strongly affect the rating results. For serviceability rat-
bridges studied. The Truck 8 serviceability ratings governed over ings, the overall truck length and weight were found to affect the
the HL-93 truck operating serviceability ratings in 22 of the 28 rating results.
78.6% operating level bridge cases studied and 2 of the 6
33.3% inventory level bridge cases studied. In general for all Material Type
bridges, the percentage of cases governed by state legal loads was Efforts have been made to distinguish the possible impacts on
significantly higher for the serviceability limit state than those LRFR rating due to different bridges or material types, such as
percentages for moment and shear ratings. The applied live-load steel bridges and concrete bridges. For all of the three steel
factor plays an important role in these results. In prestressed con- bridges studied, all 100% the strength moment and shear ratings
crete bridges, the serviceability live-load factor for design loads is were governed by the HL-93 truck load ratings. For the two steel
0.8, whereas for the state legal load it is 1.0. Because the live-load I-girder bridges, all 100% the serviceability ratings were gov-

570 / JOURNAL OF BRIDGE ENGINEERING ASCE / NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

J. Bridge Eng. 2008.13:565-572.


erned by the HL-93 truck load ratings. For the rolled beam bridge, types examined in this project, the LRFR tiered approach is
the state legal load governed over the HL-93 truck load on 12 of valid with regard to AASHTO legal loads.
the 16 75% rating cases, including 4 25% ratings at inventory 2. The results of the study showed that heavier legal load
level. It should also be noted that this group of steel bridges is trucks with closer axle spacing were more likely to produce
very small. Further research is needed to determine if the obser- load ratings that govern over the HL-93 loads. In some
vations represent trends for all steel rolled shape and I-girder cases, the state legal load ratings were lower than the HL-93
bridges. design ratings at both the operating level and inventory level.
The results for the 13 concrete bridges were more sporadic. Conversely, the results of the study showed that the load
For some bridges, the rating factors were fully controlled by HL- ratings produced by lighter legal load trucks with long axle
93; whereas for other bridges, there were cases where the state spacing are more likely to produce load ratings that do not
legal load ratings were lower than the HL-93 design load ratings. govern the rating factors generated by the HL-93 design
After careful examination, no clear-cut trends could be found for loads.
the concrete bridge strength rating results. Also, no specific trends
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3. The LRFR moment ratings tend to be sensitive to weight and


were found in relation to bridge concrete construction type such
axle configuration; the LRFR shear ratings seem to be less
as prestressed I-beam bridges versus cast-in-place concrete
affected by truck configuration; and the LRFR serviceability
T-beam bridges.
ratings tend to be sensitive to weight and overall truck
Other Bridge Characteristics length.
To further examine the potential factors that could influence the 4. When performing a state legal load rating on a bridge with an
comparison results of state legal load ratings and HL-93 design unknown ADTT, LRFR indicates that the maximum value of
load ratings, two bridge characteristics were studied for bridge 1.8 should be taken for the legal live-load factor. In general,
strength load ratings: ADTT and span length. it was found that using a live-load factor of 1.8 would result
Bridge ADTT data were used to calculate the strength live- in low state legal load ratings. This seems to be an unwar-
load factors for the state legal load ratings. In LRFR, the live-load ranted penalty, especially in cases where it is known that the
factor for HL-93 design load is always 1.75 whereas the legal bridge truck traffic is moderate or light. In these situations,
live-load factor can range from 1.4 to 1.8 as shown in Table 3. posting and closing decisions based on state legal loads may
LRFR requires that the maximum 1.8 legal live-load factor be produce unreasonable results.
used for the bridges with very high or unknown ADTT values. A 5. Bridges with low ADTT values and/or longer span length
larger live-load factor results in a lower rating factor. When the were more likely governed by the HL-93 design load ratings.
maximum legal live-load factor of 1.8 was used, it increased the On the other hand, bridges with the combination of high
chances of the state legal load rating governing over the HL-93 ADTT or unknown ADTT and shorter bridge spans tended
design loads. more likely to be governed by state legal load ratings and,
Span length was also found to influence the results of the thereby, are more likely not to comply with the LRFR tier
study. Bridges with longer span lengths tended to be governed by approach shown in Fig. 1.
the HL-93 strength ratings. The reason for this trend is likely due 6. It is clear that the state legal loads studied in this research are
to the composition of the HL-93 truck model. The HL-93 truck not fully enveloped by the LRFR design load. Therefore, it is
model consists of two parts. The first part is a three-axle, 36 t recommended that the LRFR manual include a statement to
truck or a 25 t tandem truck load. This portion of the HL-93 truck clarify that a bridge with passing rating under LRFR inven-
model is very comparable to the state legal load truck models. tory design load may not necessarily have a passing rating
The second part of the HL-93 truck model is a 0.64 kip per linear under state legal loads.
foot uniform load, which is added to the truck load. None of the
state legal models has a uniform load associated with their truck
load. For longer span bridges, the HL-93 uniform load yields a
larger component of live load than what would be under the same Acknowledgments
loading case for shorter span bridges. As the live load increases,
the rating factor decreases. So, the strength rating factors for
The writers wish to gratefully acknowledge the financial support
longer span bridges are more likely to be governed by the HL-93
design load rating factors instead of state legal loads. of the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation on this research. Particu-
Furthermore, the results demonstrated that for bridges with a larly, the writers would like to thank Edward Wasserman and
combination of a high ADTT or unknown ADTT and shorter Terry Leatherwood at the TDOT for their assistance. The writers
spans, strength load ratings are more likely to be governed by would also like to acknowledge the support of the Center for
state legal load ratings. For longer span bridges with low ADTT, Energy System Research at Tennessee Technological University.
strength load ratings are more likely to be governed by the HL-93
load ratings.

Appendix. English to SI Unit Conversion


Conclusions
English SI unit
Based on this study, the following conclusions can be made: Feet ft 0.3048 meters
1. Even with the live-load factors conservatively set at the
Inches in. 0.0254 meters
maximum of 1.8 for all bridges, the LRFR AASHTO legal
Kips 0.4536 metric tons
load ratings factors were enveloped by the LRFR HL-93
Tons t 0.9072 metric tons
truck ratings factors. The results verified that, for the bridge

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