Short-Span Bridge Design /                                        Faculty: Rima Taher, PhD, PE

CE 637 – Fall 2012                                                       University Lecturer                        


  • Type of Course:


Graduate course - Lecture format – 3 credits – Meets once a week on Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:05 pm


  • Course Overview:


The course covers the bridge engineering process of short-span bridges from design to maintenance and rehabilitation with a special focus on steel and reinforced concrete bridges. The various major forms of short-span bridges are presented with an emphasis placed on the most prevalent types and on highway bridges. The structure of a bridge, its superstructure and substructure members and other related elements such as abutments, foundations and retaining walls are examined using a practical approach which includes some computer applications. Design procedures are covered based on the latest AASHTO requirements, and the ACI and ASCE standards for structural analysis and design.


§  Prerequisites/ Required Skills:

Prerequisites: undergraduate courses in steel design and concrete design, and some knowledge of prestressed concrete fundamentals. Design and performance of highway and railroad bridges, particularly steel and prestressed concrete structures since they are most common in the northeast; and computer applications including bridge geometry, abutment design and composite beam design.

Mathematical skills and computer skills are also expected.


§  Required Text:


Bridge Engineering by Demetrios E. Tonias and Jim J. Zhao, 3rd Edition, published by McGraw Hill, 2007, ISBN # 978-0-07-175249-7 MHID 0-07-175249-8


§  Reference Texts:


o   AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges.

o   AASHTO LRFD Bridge Specifications.

o   AREMA Manual for Railway Engineering, Vol. 2.

o   PCI Bridge Design Manual.

o   ACI- Code for Reinforced Concrete Structures.

o   ASCE 7 – Standard: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.


§  Computer Program/ Download Instructions:


ROBOT, computer program for structural analysis & design by Autodesk will be used in some applications. Students can download a free copy from the Autodesk’s students’ webpage at By activating the program, students can use it for a couple of years free of charge. Students need to create a free account first with a username and password in order to download the program. Only university e-mail addresses will be accepted.


§  Grading Criteria:


Project 1: 20% - Due date will be announced.

Mid-term examination: 30% - Tentative Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Project 2: 20% - Due date will be announced.

Final examination: 30% - During the final exam week, December 14 to December 20, 2012


Make-up exams will not be given without a valid excuse.

Projects must be submitted by the due dates.


§  Instructor’s  E-mail Address:




§  Instructor’s  Office Number and Office Hours:


Office: Weston 521.

Office Hours: Monday, from 10:15 to 11:15 am, by appointment.


§  Instructor ‘s Websites:


§  Course Content:


1-      Introduction to Bridge Engineering – Review of Shear & Bending Moments – Design Specifications & Standards         (1 week)


2-      Highway Bridge Structures - Design Loads: Permanent Loads, Temporary Loads, Deformation and Response Loads, Group Loading Combinations (2 week)


3-      Superstructure Types: Steel, Concrete and Timber

Deck Types: Noncomposite and Composite Decks, Cast-in-Place Concrete Slab, Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Panels, Other Deck Types       

Design Methods           (2 weeks)


4-      Design of Concrete Deck Slab & Design Examples – Design of Prestressed Concrete Slabs & Design Examples – Construction Rehabilitation & Maintenance of Concrete Bridges                 ( 3 weeks)


5-      Design of Composite Steel Members -  Design Examples                    (3 weeks)


6-      Continuous Beams – Design Examples                        (1 week)


7-      Plate Girders -  Design Examples                     (1 week)



8-      Single-Span Railroad Bridges               (1 week)


9-      Abutments, Foundations, Piers and Bearings  

Protecting Steel Superstructures: Inspection, Rehabilitation and Maintenance Issues

(1 week)


The NJIT Honor Code will be upheld, and any violations will be brought to the immediate attention of the Dean of Students.