The Central Bridge over the Ohio River between Newport, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, was completed in 1891 and in 1972-73 was considered to be in danger of fatigue failure. A series of investigations were undertaken to determine the likelihood of failure and to estimate the time of probable failure. During the investigation, a methodology was developed to determine fatigue damage from a probability analysis of traffic data by reconstituting or synthesizing the load (traffic) history of bridges. Strain gage data obtained with Prewitt scratch gages and SR-4 resistivity gages were used to evaluate fatigue damage incurred by the Central Bridge.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 411

Digital Object Identifier



Accepted for publication by the Transportation Research Board.