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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

Xiao Qin


Performed at South Dakota State University, this study was designed to develop a comprehensive risk analysis methodology for evaluating collisions between trucks and interstate overpass bridges in South Dakota. The research consisted of four main parts: prediction of truck run-off-the-road (ROR) crash frequency; risk analysis for the collisions between trucks and interstate overpass bridges; evaluation of additional road user costs (RUC) due to the bridge damage; and development of a bridge collision risk index to prioritize the bridges at risk. The truck ROR crash prediction models were developed by applying traffic data, bridge dimension data, roadway characteristics data, weather data as well as five years crash data. Both the fixed parameter and random parameter models were used to predict the truck ROR crashes with the consideration of the data heterogeneities among highway segments.The collision risk between trucks and interstate overpass bridges was analyzed by calculating the hazard exposure of bridge bents to an erratic vehicle, which is defined as the hazard envelope (HE). Monte Carlo simulation was employed to estimate the hazard envelope given the uncertainties of truck size, vehicle orientation angle, and vehicle encroachment angle. Additional road user costs were evaluated for increased travel time and distance, i.e. detour distance resulting from the collapse of a bridge. The RUC includes vehicle operating costs (VOC), value of road users’ time (VOT), and accident costs (AC). A bridge collision risk index was developed through the use of multi-criteria decision analysis, by which the overpass bridges on the interstate highway I-29 and I-90 in South Dakota were ranked. The ranking results were analyzed to determine the bridge priority for a retrofit, rehabilitation or a repair.This study consisted of literature review, data collection and processing, study design and scope of work, methodology, result analysis, conclusions and recommendations. The results indicated that most of the bridges with a high collision risk index are located close to the urban areas such as Sioux Falls and Rapid City. This is likely due to the high traffic volume on both interstate highways and local roads. This study provided new information and methodology for the Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to develop mitigation plans for bridges with high collision risk index.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bridges -- Accidents -- Risk assessment
Truck accidents -- Risk assessment


Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-100)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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