In current bridge design specifications and evaluation manuals from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO LRFD) (AASHTO, 2018), the detail category for base metal at the toe of transverse stiffener-to-flange fillet welds and transverse stiffener-to-web fillet welds to the direction of the web and hence, the primary stress) is Category C′. In skewed bridges or various other applications, there is sometimes a need to place the stiffener or a connection plate at an angle that is not at 90 degrees to the web. As the plate is rotated away from being 90 degrees to the web, the effective “length” of the stiffener in the longitudinal direction increases. However, AASHTO is currently silent on how to address the possible effects on fatigue performance for other angles in between these two extremes. This report summarizes an FEA study that was conducted in order to investigate and determine the fatigue category for welded attachments that are placed at angles other than 0 or 90 degrees for various stiffener geometries and thicknesses. Recommendations on how to incorporate the results into the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications are included in this report.


fatigue, transverse stiffener, steel bridge fatigue

Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version