Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Hsiao, J. Kent


In engineering practice, there is no clear reference or guidance for the computation of the superimposed parapet load distributed to each girder of a bridge. The purpose of this study is to determine the distribution of the parapet wall weight load to prestressed concrete girders for simple span bridges. The focus is on the reactions at the bearings of simple span bridges. It was found in this study that the exterior girder takes about fifty percent of the parapet load distribution in a case with five girders. This study presents background, introduction, data, and results pertaining to this research. Care is made to fully explain all procedures and terminology for complete understanding of the topic. This study implements the finite element analysis program NISA to test simple span bridge models and collect the data of the reactions at the bearings of these models. Multiple models are created that use AASHTO Types III prestressed concrete girders. The lengths of the girders as well as the cantilever span lengths of the deck will vary. The focus of this research is to determine the distribution of the parapet weight loading on the prestressed concrete girders of simple span bridges. The results are provided in table form showing the reactions on the bridge models. The ratios of the load distribution of the exterior beams to the load distribution of the interior beams are also shown. This data provides a reference for the load distribution of the parapet wall weight to the girders.




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