Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mayrai Gindy


Live load models are essential to assess the safety of highway bridges. To determine the maximum permissible load, Rhode Island currently uses legal live load models developed for a national level application based on federal weight restrictions. However, the state has allowable limits higher than those mandated federally, therefore, the models are not entirely representative of the truck traffic in the state. Furthermore, the state's transportation agencies may issue permits for the operation of trucks in excess of the weight restrictions. To assist in permitting decisions, permit live load models developed from previous applications are introduced in the evaluation of bridges. Changes in the characteristics of permit applications diminishes the effectiveness of the permit live load models.

A database of approved permit applications was utilized to analyze the models through their ability to exceed, or envelope, the structural responses due to the applicant trucks. As a results, state-specific 3- and 5-axle legal live load models were developed. A validation of the permit live load models was also performed and revealed that they did not perform adequately. New permit live load models were developed to further assist and expedite the state's transportation agencies permit reviewing process.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.