Civil Engineering Bridge Design

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 26 April 2015

This past Friday marked my final day of classes for my undergraduate degree. In addition, I presented my final presentation for my senior design project.

I choose to do the structural senior design project which required my partner and I to design a bridge. We were given a bridge location, as well as the length and width dimensions the bridge must satisfy. Given this information, my partner and I began to create our bridge, which was a great challenge for my partner and I because we both did not have much experience in bridge design.

My partner and I began by conducting research on bridge design which led us to the finding that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a design manual. We found this manual to be most helpful during our project. Furthermore, we were given computer programs in order to help with the iterative process for the superstructure and substructure.

The most challenging part of this project was the girder design for the superstructure. We ran into many problems where the girders failed; however, not by much. This caused us to come up with a whole new design. This project was great for our senior project due to the fact it taught us that even after much research about bridges, we still don’t know everything there is to know.

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