The University Record, May 7, 1996

Tanks test load limits

Andrzej S. Nowak, professor of civil engineering, used two M-60 Michigan National Guard tanks to test the strength and structural integrity of a Canton Township bridge over Fellows Creek last Thursday.
Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Great Lakes Center for Truck and Transit Research at the U-M, Nowak uses the 115,000-pound tanks to conduct proof load tests on Michigan bridges.
Michigan has the most permissive truck load limits in the United States, allowing 11-axle trucks to carry 170,000 pounds. To conduct a proof load test, Nowak must concentrate about twice the load-limit weight directly on the bridge. Nowak says the two M-60 tanks do the job perfectly on the Fellows Creek bridge. The bridge passed last week's test. Nowak's research team will continue testing Michigan bridges throughout this spring and summer.


Photo by Bob Kalmbach