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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Live load distribution factors are used to determine the live-load moment for bridge girder design when a two dimensional analysis is conducted. A simple, analysis of bridge superstructures are considered to determine live-load factors that can be used to analyze different types of bridges. The distribution of the live load factors distributes the effect of loads transversely across the width of the bridge superstructure by proportioning the design lanes to individual girders through the distribution factors.

This research study consists of the determination of live load distribution factors (LLDFs) in both interior and exterior girders for horizontally curved concrete box girder bridges that have central angles, with one span exceeding 34 degrees. This study has been done based on real geometry of bridges designed by a company for different locations. The goal of using real geometry is to achieve more realistic, accurate, and practical results.

Also, in this study, 3-D modeling analyses for different span lengths (80, 90, 100, 115, 120, and 140 ft) have been first conducted for straight bridges, and then the results compared with AASHTO LRFD, 2012 equations. The point of starting with straight bridges analyses is to get an indication and conception about the LLDF obtained from AASHTO LRFD formulas, 2012 to those obtained from finite element analyses for this type of bridge (Concrete Box Girder). After that, the analyses have been done for curved bridges having central angles with one span exceeding 34 degrees. Theses analyses conducted for various span lengths that had already been used for straight bridges (80, 90, 100, 115, 120, and 140 ft) with different central angles (5º, 38º, 45º, 50º, 55º, and 60º).

The results of modeling and analyses for straight bridges indicate that the current AASHTO LRFD formulas for box-girder bridges provide a conservative estimate of the design bending moment. For curved bridges, it was observed from a refined analysis that the distribution factor increases as the central angle increases and the current AASHTO LRFD formula is applicable until a central angle of 38º which is a little out of the LRFD`s limits.


First Advisor

Sergio F Breña

Second Advisor

Simos Gerasimidis