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Guidelines for the Load and Resistance Factor Design and Rating of Riveted and Bolted Gusset-Plate Connections for Steel Bridges

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
End Date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Structures; Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms: 
Infrastructure; Bridges; Research; Load Factor; Gusset Plates; Steel Bridges; Truss Bridges; Buckling
FHWA Discipline: 
TRB Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Maintenance and Preservation, Research

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3080
Email Address: 
Bridge Engineering Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Recent failures of gusset plate bridge connections and the current national urgency to properly design and rate gusset truss connection points to the need for further analytical and experimental investigations to verify and/or modify existing procedures, and to provide guidance to the bridge engineers for the proper design and rating of riveted and bolted gusset-plated connections. In addition, the lack of uniformity and best practices in the design and load rating of gusset connections results in confusion, unknown safety hazards, and possibly unnecessary checks. There is a pressing urgency to develop safe guidelines and procedures to help bridge owners design and load rate steel bridge gusset connections. These guidelines must be verified to ensure that connections are not only properly designed and rated but most importantly without imposing unnecessary burdens. The new guidelines are expected to assure the safety of new and existing bridges and simplify design and rating to avoid unfavorable failure modes.


Todevelop guidelines, specifications, and examples for the load and resistance factor design and rating of gusset connections.


Deliverable Name: 
"Guidelines for the Load and Resistance Factor Design and Rating of Riveted and Bolted Gusset-Plate Connections for Steel Bridges"
Deliverable Type: 
Technical report
Deliverable Description: 
This report will document the methodology of the entire research project, including all the data, findings, and interpretations of those findings.
Deliverable Name: 
Ballot items for American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures consideration
Deliverable Type: 
Draft standard or specification
Deliverable Description: 
Ultimately, these recommendations should be integrated into the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Bridge Design Specification and Manual for Bridge Evaluation so they can be used by bridge owners and consultants. The recommendations would be presented as a ballot item on which the technical committees could vote.
Deliverable Name: 
WORKING TITLE - "TECHBRIEF: Guidelines for Design and Rating of Gusset-Plate Connections for Steel Truss Bridges"
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
This is an executive summary of the NCHRP WOD 197 report.