Date of Defense



Civil and Construction Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Yufeng Hu


The collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minnesota lead to the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) announcing that all steel truss bridges should be reevaluated. This means analyzing each gusset plate connections to ensure they meet AASTHO safety requirements. Do to the numerous steel bridges and configurations of gusset plates, an efficient tool was needed to assist in and speed up the evaluation time. Using MathCAD, a general template was created to analyze several different gusset plates. The template uses the AASHTO Load Factor Design (LRFD) method to assess the critical aspects of a gusset plate: axial, moment and shear stresses, unsupported edges, bolt shear and bearing, block shear, and Whitmore sections. Then, several New York steel truss bridge gusset plates were checked with the template. It was found that most were within safety requirements. This proved that the template was an efficient tool in quickly assessing a gusset plate. Next, a traffic plan was created using a case study of a local Michigan Bridge on M-86 in St. Joseph County. Signing and time value costs were calculated for theoretical need for gusset plate repair.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only