Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

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

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



integral abutment bridge, skew, short span, bridge, live load distribution, instrumentation


Short span bridges are commonly used throughout the United States to span small waterways and highway overpasses. New technologies in the civil engineering industry have aided in the creation of many unique designs of these short span highway bridges in efforts to decrease construction cost, decrease maintenance costs, increase efficiency, increase constructability, and increase safety. Three innovative systems, the Integral Abutment Bridge, “Bridge-in-a-Backpack”, and the Folded Plate Girder bridge will be analyzed to study how the bridges behave under various types of loading.

Detailed finite element models were created for integral abutment bridges of varying geometry. These models are used to study how the live load distribution transversely across the bridge is effected by varying geometric properties and varying modeling techniques. These models will also be used to determine live load distribution factors for the integral abutment bridges and compare them to current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials specifications.

The “Bridge-in-a-Backpack” and the Folded Plate Girder bridges were each constructed with a variety of instruments to measure the bridge movements. Readings from these instruments are used to determine the bridge response under various loading conditions. Bridges were analyzed during their construction process, during static live load testing, and during long term seasonal changes. The results from these studies will aid in the refinement of these innovative designs.


First Advisor

Scott A. Civjan

Second Advisor

Sergio F. Breña