Timber beam bridges are used extensively for road and rail bridges in Tasmania. Road, rail and forestry bridges number about 4,000 in the State. The investigation reported in this paper has field load tested about 50 bridges and tested to failure under laboratory conditions about 200 bridge beams. The investigation demonstrates that modern structural analysis methods do apply to traditional timber bridges, and preliminary indications suggest many road bridges are kept in service for too long, potentially compromising safety.
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