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September Technical Lunch Meeting


What:  Interstate Delta Frames: Structural Steel Retrofit and Restoration to Essentially Infinite Fatigue Life, Part II – Technical Lunch Meeting

Presenter:  LOAI F. EL-GAZAIRLY, Ph.D., P.E.,

When: September 26th, 2018

Time: Lunch is served at 11:45AM

Presentation begins at 12:00PM

Where:  The Hofheimer Building; 2818 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230

   2818 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230 23219

NOTE: NEW VENUE!!! Street Parking is available surrounding the area or attendees are welcome to take the Pulse to the Scott’s Addition Westbound Station or the Science Museum Eastbound Station.

The twin delta frame bridges that carry I-64 over the Maury River within the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Staunton District have experienced fatigue cracking problems which caused structural deterioration and a deficiency in the bridges’ inventory ratings. In Part I of this study (El-Gazairly et al. 2016), an analytical investigation by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) showed that the bridges could be retrofitted to achieve essentially infinite fatigue life. The bridges’ structural behavior was evaluated through a comprehensive 3-D finite element computer model and with an experimental monitoring program aimed at correlating the actual structural response with that of the analytical model. Part II of this investigation discusses the comprehensive structural retrofit program designed to control the fatigue cracks developed earlier within the structures and to attain infinite fatigue life. Bridge rehabilitation has been completed and both the Eastbound Lane (EBL) and the Westbound Lane (WBL) structures are open to traffic and subjected to normal traffic loading conditions. Retrofitted cracks and areas of potential cracking are being scrutinized through stringent bridge inspection and maintenance programs. Reports confirmed that the original fatigue cracks were confined, and no additional cracks have formed. Upon completion of the retrofit, superstructure condition ratings were upgraded from General Condition Rating (GCR) 4 to GCR 5. Pending no new crack formations after four years of inspections, the superstructure will be rated as GCR 6.


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Loai El-Gazairly has more than 36 years of design and management experience in transportation projects. He participated in the design and construction of landmark bridge projects both nationally and internationally, such as Route 895 in Virginia, the John James Audubon Bridge in, Louisiana, the Indian River Inlet Bridge in Delaware. Loai is knowledgeable with the current design standards of the AASHTO LRFD and participated in developing the Bridge Detailing Manual for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Bridge Design Manual for the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOH). Loai Graduated from Alexandria University, Egypt with BSc. and M.Sc. degrees in structural engineering as well as a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. He served as the President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in Richmond and he is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in GA, FL, SC, VA, NJ, PA and Ohio.


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