Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Fouad Fanous


Due to the importance of historical timber covered bridges throughout history, their preservation is necessary. However, conducting an accurate structural evaluation of these types of bridges has always caused difficulties to engineers. Little laboratory and analytical modeling has been previously completed to evaluate the overall behavior and rating of these structures. Within this study, field testing results of displacements and strains for three Burr arch covered timber bridges were completed. Analysis of one of the two main supporting elements, i.e. the truss-arch elements, of the bridge structure was performed using the finite element method which included the as built geometry, such as the splice joints, in the top and bottom chord truss members. The connectivity between timber members, i.e., the connection between vertical and diagonal members, was also accounted for within the model. Finite element analyses included the evaluation of both two and three dimensional stick modeling to evaluate the effect of different modeling techniques that may be utilized by bridge engineers in the evaluation of the structural behavior of these bridges. Through this evaluation, recommendations were developed for the most appropriate analytical finite element model to analyze historical timber covered bridges.


Copyright Owner

Allison Machtemes



Date Available


File Format


File Size

95 pages