Predicting Priorities for Installing Over-height Vehicle Detection/Warning Systems for Bridges


M. N. Murshed, Imelda Barrett, P. E., and Randy B. Machemehl, P. E., “Predicting Priorities for Installing Over-height Vehicle Detection/Warning Systems for Bridges,” TRB 95th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers, 2016. Copy at


Although collisions of over-height vehicles or vehicles carrying over-height loads with a bridge 3 superstructure may be considered a rare event, occurrences of such events are not uncommon. 4 When such an event takes place, the damage sustained by the bridge superstructure may be 5 substantial- sometimes even leading to total collapse of the bridge. Out of the available solutions 6 to this problem the most promising and attractive one involves the installation of over-height 7 vehicle detection and warning systems, however, such systems have diverse installation costs, 8 effectiveness and longevity. Moreover, yearly budget constraints limit the number of such 9 installations and there is no guideline as to which bridges should be equipped with such devices. 10 In this study a relatively simple but effective method is developed using only two basic items of 11 information about the bridge (minimum vertical under-clearance) and total number of traffic 12 lanes under the bridge to produce a priority ranking based upon the likelihood of the bridge being 13 hit by an over-height truck. Bridge collision datasets were obtained from three state DOTs- New 14 York, Missouri and Texas and these were used to develop the predictive procedure.


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