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Traffic Loads on Bridges

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The results of a study are described which aimed at the derivation of a traffic load model for the design of road bridges. Attention is given to the Ultimate Limit State, the Serviceability Limit State and the Fatigue Limit State under static and dynamic conditions. A set of measurements done in 1978 in Rheden, The Netherlands, served as the basis for the vehicle model. Starting from the measurements of 16,000 vehicles, statistical models for the weight of 16 types of lorry configurations were derived. An additional set of measurements done in 1985 at Moerdijk, The Netherlands, was used to derive a statistical model for the axle loads, once the vehicle type and the total vehicle load is given. Based on various sources, a probabilistic traffic flow model was constructed, comprising traffic intensities, lorry distances and lorry speeds for three types of traffic: free, congested and full stop, each of which governs the traffic flow during some part of the day. Given both models, design values with predefined probabilities were derived for the axle, tandem, tridem and vehicle loads and for distributed loads on single and multiple lanes of various influence lengths. The axle and vehicle loads were derived by direct calculation. The distributed lane loads were derived using a simplified numerical traffic model. For short periods (1, 10 and 30 days), this simplified model was verified by Monte Carlo simulations on the full model. The values obtained in the way described above can not be used directly in design. The vehicle data is very limited and comes from one place and one time. The traffic flow model contains many simplifications and assumptions. These effects have been taken into account by an extensive trend and uncertainty analysis.
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Keywords: Dynamic deflection; Fatigue Limit State; Serviceability Limit State; Traffic load models; Ultimate Limit State

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 1993

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
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