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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Nadim Wehbe


A research study was conducted through South Dakota State University in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) to assess the applicability of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design calculations for the dynamic ice loads on bridge structures in the state of South Dakota. Ice loads were measured at two sites using a system designed and tested in the J. Lohr Structures Lab at SDSU. The sites were selected based on previous ice thickness and strength measurements, water level heights during spring thaw, and feasibility of installation. After testing, the measurement systems were installed at each site and data was collected during the 2012-2013 winter season. After spring, the recorded data was analyzed and results were obtained. These results were subjected to several comparison tests to attempt to determine correlations between the peak ice loads and other variables. These variables included the ice thickness and strength, air temperature, temperature of the load cells, and gage height (water level height). It was determined that there was no apparent relation between the peak loads and the air temperature or load cell temperature; however, the gage height did seem to have an impact. The higher loads coincided with higher gage heights in general. A reliability index was also determined for the AASHTO design forces using the South Dakota current practices and the single season of data collected. The reliability index showed that both sites were designed for loads higher than those measured during the study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bridges -- Snow and ice cream -- South Dakota
Load factor design
Bridges -- South Dakota -- Design and construction


Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-160)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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