On October 14, Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) in Piscataway, New Jersey, unveiled the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing Lab (BEAST), the world’s first accelerated testing facility for full-scale bridges.
Applied Research Associates, Inc, (ARA), an international research and engineering company, designed and built the core of testing facility in their Randolph, Vermont location. DuBois & King supported ARA with civil/site design, permitting, and structural engineering services including design of concrete abutments and foundation design for the environmental simulation enclosure. Site engineering included utility relocations, coordination of electrical design for 1200 KVA and as-built survey of the rail system.
According to the CAIT website, the BEAST will be used to “quantitatively measure stresses and deterioration caused by extreme traffic and environmental loading on full-scale bridge systems—and do so in an extremely compressed time frame. Data from the BEAST will allow us to project future performance and longevity of bridge materials and components. The BEAST subjects bridge specimens to rapid-cycling environmental changes and extreme traffic loading to induce and speed up deterioration as much as 30 times, making it possible to simulate 15 to 20 years of wear-and-tear in just a few months.”
“We anticipate being able to validate how various bridge designs, construction materials, and elements can be expected to perform decades from now and give bridge owners empirical evidence to support decision making,” says CAIT research engineering project manager Andrés Roda.
Additional information can be found here: