The State of Florida acquires over 300 paratransit buses each year. The Transit Office of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been interested in the best quality buses which exhibit the highest crashworthy characteristics and the safest environment for their passengers. In response to those needs, an extensive research was initiated in 1999 by the CIAL at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in Tallahassee.
The objective of this research wasto study dynamic interaction between heavy vehicles and highway bridges. Current research focuses on two main parts: 1) the analyses of two models of bridges with AASHTO Type II and IV Girders, and 2) the effect of the bouncing cargo on the bridge dynamic response. The effects of surface imperfections in the bridge approach are included on the bridge models to simulate real life conditions. Several different bridges around North Florida were surveyed and two of these were selected and FE models were developed. The LS-DYNA parallel code is being used to perform the numerical simulations.