Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Terry J Wipf


The design, construction and use of covered timber bridges is all but a lost art in these days of prestressed concrete, high performance steel, and the significant growth both in the volume and size of vehicles. Furthermore, many of the existing covered timber bridges are preserved only because of their status on the National Registry of Historic Places and/or the diligent maintenance and care of the owners of these structures. Of the covered timber bridges that remain in the United States, only a small percentage still stand today due to arson, vandalism, neglect, and other factors. The objective of this work is to provide covered timber bridge owners with the ability to quickly and efficiently design and implement a security system to protect these important historical landmarks. This goal was obtained with an in-depth analysis of equipment selected by the design team based on the practicality in a covered bridge application. Other major considerations that are required for all equipment to work efficiently within a security system are also fully discussed, including, but not limited to, maintenance, power requirements, and general set-up of an integrated security system. To further guide bridge owners and engineers, a decision making tool is presented to expedite the selection process based on financial abilities and security expectations of the covered bridge owner. Possible sources of funding for security projects are discussed including the requirements and benefits of a bridge being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A comprehensive case study is presented involving monitoring systems placed on five of the six covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa at the end of this thesis to showcase the abilities of an integrated system and all the decisions that must be made throughout the process for the entire system to work as intended. The creative component portion of this thesis is satisfied with the installation of the monitoring system in Madison County, Iowa, with emphasis on the renewable energy


Copyright Owner

Ryan Allen Sievers



Date Available


File Format


File Size

181 pages