Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Hota V. S. GangaRao.


The focus of this study was to develop means and methods to strengthen timber superstructural components of historic covered bridges using Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) composite materials. The strengthening methodologies developed during this research project were designed to conform to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. More specifically, tension and bending tests were conducted to establish bond strength of GFRP rebars embedded in wood, and to establish bending strength and stiffness of large-scale beams reinforced with GFRP pultruded plates, and GFRP rebars. The GFRP rebars were developed to be used specifically as reinforcing materials for truss members, while the GFRP plates were developed to enhance the bending capacity of floor beams and stringers. The results showed bonded-in GFRP rebars performed very well in terms of pullout force and bond strength, and the strength and stiffness of GFRP reinforced timber beams improved significantly. Additionally, during this research several methods of concealing the reinforcement, thereby preserving the historic integrity of structural members were investigated.