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Structural Evaluation Of A Truss Pedestrian Bridge

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Learning by Doing

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1108.1 - 15.1108.14



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Paper Authors

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Jorge Tito-Izquierdo University of Houston, Downtown

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Alberto Gomez-Rivas University of Houston, Downtown

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Structural Evaluation of a Truss Pedestrian Bridge


The superstructure of a steel pedestrian bridge located near the University of Houston Downtown campus was selected to expose the students of the Structural Analysis and Design program to the evaluation of an existing structure. The bridge is a continuous structure of 304’0” making three spans with support-to-support distances of 57’0”-190’0”-57’0”. The steel superstructure consists of two vertical trusses with 10’0” height and spaced by 10’0”; a top horizontal truss, and a concrete slab at the bottom that is supported on steel beams spanning between the vertical trusses. The bridge is supported by straps at the ends and by pin-type supports on the central bents. All the steel joints are welded. The substructure consists of concrete frames which are constructed over drilled shafts.

The project tasks are to obtain the material take-off and cost estimating; obtain the natural frequency; make the structural modeling; and verify if the structure is able to withstand the loads indicated in current codes.

This type of project is motivating for the students because they see a real application of their studies. The course assessment indicates that the project leads to an excellent compliance of the course outcomes.


Senior Steel Design is one of the capstone courses of the Structural Analysis and Design program at the University of Houston Downtown. Students taking this course are in their Senior year and they were previously introduced to classes of Structural Analysis and Steel Design. The course is taught every other semester, and typically there are between 25 and 30 students enrolled.

One of the outcomes defined for this capstone course is the evaluation of existing structures, for which this project is selected. It consists in the structural evaluation of an existing pedestrian bridge in order to determine if it is able to withstand the loads indicated in current construction codes.

The selected existing pedestrian bridge has the characteristics needed for a capstone project level, such as easy access to the site, availability of as-built drawings, adequate complexity level for Senior students, and feasibility to complete the study during the academic semester.

This project was repeated during two consecutive years permitting the students compare results with the previous year, and improve the quality of the study. It is not intended to repeat in the near future, but it will be used as a model for other similar projects.

Tito-Izquierdo, J., & Gomez-Rivas, A. (2010, June), Structural Evaluation Of A Truss Pedestrian Bridge Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16989

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