Last year, HERA was successful in being awarded a new research project by NZTA to develop a design guide for existing steel-concrete composite bridges.
Working in collaboration with Opus International Consultants, to date, the project has identified the many different shear connector types that have been used in New Zealand since the 1920s.
Design rules are currently being developed to enable engineers to make an assessment of the load capacity of existing bridges, thereby permitting HMPV and 50MAX vehicles to have wider access to the existing highway network.
It is intended that the resulting design guidance will be included in the Transport Agency’s Bridge manual on completion of the project at the end of 2015.
A work package that is presently underway is a review of the in situ performance of shear connectors in completed structures. In this context, HERA would like to invite designers to supply information on cases where it has been observed that shear connectors were damaged due to the applied loads on the structure.
Given the sensitivity of some of the information, we’re happy to keep the project names anonymous. Should members be willing to share this information, please contact our General Manager Structural Systems Dr Stephen Hicks.