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Re: 5 Ton Golf Course Bridges

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What your specs most probably meant was a 10000-lbs vehicle, with 60-40% weight distribution.  It is a pretty standard loading for 12' wide pedestrian bridges.  You may want to look at the Continental Bridge Standard Specification (available on their website).
V. Steve Gordin, PhD
Registered Structural Engineer
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:34 AM
Subject: 5 Ton Golf Course Bridges

I have an interesting problem.  I am looking at the design of several timber golf course bridges.  Specifications say "12'-0" wide, 3-inch plank deck, and 5-Ton capacity.
The contractor bid based upon his normal business of constructing golf cart bridges for golf courses.  He "sort of" follows the pictures and layout shown on page 8 of "Southern Pine Pedestrian Bridges & Walkways".
Designing the timber bridges by AASHTO leads to much larger members than he thought he was going to have to use.  The problem seems to be the use of the term "5-Ton Capacity".  A wheel load for a 5 ton truck will cause much larger stresses in the stringers than a uniform load that will add up to 5 tons.
I would appreciate any comments on what others have done in this situation.
Dave Smith
David G. Smith & Associates, Inc.
Gainesville, GA