This report documents the use of a laser metrology technique in the production of splice connections for steel bridge girders which was successfully performed at Hirschfeld Industries steel bridge fabrication plant in Bristol, VA. Over the course of this project, the traditional method of splice connection fabrication was studied and compared alongside a newer method involving the use of laser metrology to enable the use of pre-drilled girder splice connection holes and custom fabricated splice plates. The primary benefit of this new method is that time consuming match drilling of girder splice connections is replaced with automated drilling methods. This new technique was demonstrated on girders that were fabricated for use in a new bridge being built in Dandridge, Tennessee. In addition to documenting the technique and its implementation, this report examines various aspects of the technology used, costs and benefits, possible sources of error, and potential uses and extensions of the technique in the future. Based on the findings in this report and the implementation documented, it is clear that the laser metrology technique studied can successfully be implemented in steel bridge fabrication; furthermore, this technique has great potential to provide significant time, money, and space savings in the girder fabrication process. Funding for the research of this project was provided thru FHWA’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) grant. This program provides funding as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation.
Jones, T. W. and Wierschem, N. E. (2019). Accelerated Innovation Development of Laser Metrology for Steel Bridge Fabrication. Civil and Environmental Engineering Report Series, Report No. 2, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee.