SSSBA Publishes New Research Report in Technical Series on Innovative Press-Brake-Formed Steel Tub Girder Bridge Technology

The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) has added a new research report to its series on the development and experimental testing of the innovative press-brake-formed steel tub girder (PBTG) bridge system. The new report, “Volume VII: Field Evaluation of a Modular Press-Brake-Formed Steel Tub Girder in an Application That Includes Skew and Superelevation,” is available for free download at


The report evaluates the field performance of the Fourteen Mile Bridge in Lincoln County, West Virginia, a modular PBTG steel bridge topped with a precast reinforced concrete deck that was constructed in August 2019. The testing was performed by researchers from Marshall University and West Virginia University and served to determine what effect skew and superelevation have on the distribution of live load to each girder. To make that determination, a live load field test was performed, a finite element model was developed to verify the recorded data, and the results were used to compute live load distribution factors (LLDF). The LLDF data was then compared to data following the AASHTO LRFD specifications.


“The test results demonstrate that AASHTO live load distribution factors are conservative, and therefore safe to use in the design of press-brake-formed steel tub girder bridges,” said Karl Barth, Ph.D., associate professor at West Virginia University, one of the researchers on the team who also led the task group responsible for developing the PBTG technology. Dr. Barth was joined in the Fourteen Mile Bridge research by Greg Michaelson, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor at Marshall University, who was involved in the early research on the new technology; and by Robert Tennant, Ph.D. and Adam Roh, engineering students at West Virginia University. Barth and Michaelson also provide expert assistance to bridge design professionals through the SSSBA’s Bridge Technology Center.


“This result underscores the value of the PBTG system, which provides significant cost and time savings in the design and construction of short span steel bridges up to 60 feet,” said David Stoddard, Senior Applications Engineer at SSAB Americas and Chairman of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance. “The PBTG system is practical for accelerated bridge construction (ABC) applications, can last for an estimated 100 years, and is compatible with various deck designs as modular units.” Stoddard added that PBTG bridges are currently in service in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *