Site Specific Modelling of Traffic Loading on Highway Bridges

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Title: Site Specific Modelling of Traffic Loading on Highway Bridges
Authors: Enright, Bernard
O'Brien, Eugene J.
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Date: 2-Sep-2010
Abstract: Accurate traffic loading models based on measured weigh-in-motion (WIM) data are essential for the accurate assessment of existing bridges. Much work has been published on the Monte Carlo simulation of single lanes of heavy vehicle traffic, and this can easily be extended to model the loading on bridges with two independent streams of traffic in opposing directions. However, a typical highway bridge will have multiple lanes in the same direction, and various types of correlation are evident in measured traffic, such as groups of very heavy vehicles travelling together and heavy vehicles being overtaken by lighter ones. These traffic patterns affect the probability and magnitude of “multiple presence” loading events on bridges, and are significant for the maximum lifetime loading on the bridge. This paper analyses traffic patterns using multi-lane WIM data collected at four European sites. It describes an approach to the Monte Carlo simulation of this traffic which seeks to replicate the observed patterns of vehicle weights, same-lane and interlane gaps, and vehicle speeds by applying variable bandwidth kernel density estimators to empirical traffic patterns. This allows the observed correlation structure to be accurately simulated but also allows for unobserved patterns to be simulated. The process has been optimised so as to make it possible to simulate traffic loading on bridges over periods of 1,000 years or more, and this removes much of the variability associated with estimating characteristic maximum load effects from shorter periods of either measured or simulated data. The results of this analysis show that the patterns of correlation in the observed traffic have a small but significant effect on bridge loading.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: BCRI
Copyright (published version): 2010, BCRI
Keywords: Bridge;Correlation;Simulation;Traffic loading;Weigh-in-motion
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: N.A. Ni Nualláin, D. Walsh, R. West, E. Cannon, C.Caprani, B.McCabe (eds.) Bridge & Infrastructure Research in Ireland 2010 [proceedings]
Conference Details: Bridge & Infrastructure Research in Ireland 2010 (BRI 10), Cork, 2-3 September 2010
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

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