This week strain gages were installed in an approach slab for the new I-390 bridge over Arlington Heights Road. This bridge is part of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access project by the Illinois Tollway. The Tollway has funded a research project, Investigation of Approach Slab Construction and Evaluation of Modular Approach Slab Designs, which is being led by Larry Fahnestock and Jim LaFave. It focuses on approach slabs for integral abutment bridges (IABs), since they are being used extensively in new construction by the Tollway and premature cracking has been observed in approach slabs on many Tollway IABs. This project is using field monitoring and numerical simulations to study the problem and develop strategies for improved performance and extended service life.
A new graduate course, Nonlinear Analysis of Steel Structures (CEE 598 NAS), will be offered in Fall 2017. This course will be taught by Dr. Ricardo Herrera, Associate Professor at the University of Chile, who will be a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Illinois for six months.