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For many engineers, the steel box girder story starts with disaster. The memories of the tragic events of 1970 and 1971 are still raw for some, and the implications have been far reaching. But the story is also one of bold innovation, lessons learnt and ultimate success. This paper explores the short history of the steel box girder and reflects on how it has shaped the evolution of the popular modern bridge structures we see today. Ian Firth , BSc, MSc, DIC, CEng, FIStructE, FICE, FConsE Flint and Neill Ltd
This paper reports on an evaluation of the behavior of X-shaped shear connectors for timber-concrete composite bridge decks. Direct shear tests of the connectors, which were subjected to a total of 2 x 10 6 load cycles, indicated that their ultimate capacity was not affected by the fatigue cycles and that accumulated fatigue damage was the result of an initial slip that tended to stabilise after 1 x 10 6 cycles. Three composite girders with Tshaped cross section were loaded to failure after being subjected to 1 x 10 6 cycles. The test results indicated that the X-shaped connection conferred high resistance and stiffness on the composite system, offering an excellent alternative for composite bridge decks. To conclude, details of the design and load testing of a 7m span composite bridge in Brazil are presented and the test results are compared with those of a timber bridge, confirming the advantages of the composite system. Julio Cesar Molina , DSc, CEng Department of Structural Engineering, University of Sao Paulo USP/EESC, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil Carlito Calil Junior , DSc, CEng Department of Structural Engineering, University of Sao Paulo USP/EESC, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil