Professor Hussam Mahmoud and Susan Palu study linking the potential impacts of climate change with the structural integrity of thousands of bridges transecting America’s highways and towns. Mahmoud’s analysis demonstrates a need to rethink the nation’s priority order of bridge repair, as climate change looms and infrastructure funding remains limited.
The research is published Oct. 23 in PLOS ONE, and its lead author is Susan Palu, who recently graduated from CSU with a master’s degree in civil engineering.
Mahmoud and Palu focused their analysis on about 80,000 “simply supported steel girder bridges,” a design common since World War II that consists of longitudinal beams spanning two piers. These bridges suffer frequently from expansion joints clogging with debris and require regular maintenance to clean the joints. Expansion joints connect bridge spans and allow the structure to expand and contract as the air heats or cools. Read More