Assessment of traffic load events and structural effects on road bridges based on strain measurements

    Helder Sousa Affiliation
    ; Bruno J. A. Costa Affiliation
    ; António Abel Henriques Affiliation
    ; João Bento Affiliation
    ; Joaquim A. Figueiras Affiliation


Several technical and scientific publications have been made available focussing on Bridge Weight-in-Motion (BWIM) concerning railway bridges. On the contrary, BWIM analysis on road bridges are more scarce and therefore, this work intends to provide a contribution by presenting the BWIM analysis performed on two major road bridges in Portugal – Lezíria Bridge and Pinhão Bridge. These bridges are equipped with electric and optical strain gauges, acquisi­tion systems with features that allow high sampling rates. Based on the collected data and focussing on the bridges’ life­time, a probabilistic approach to quantify extreme traffic loads was implemented using extreme distribution functions. The bridges’ behaviour to these extreme traffic loads is numerically evaluated and a comparison with the alarm levels established by the bridge designers is performed. Although the bridge’s safety is not compromised, it was concluded that the representativeness of the observation period is a critical issue and the analysis of this kind of results must be care­fully considered. A comprehensive discussion about this matter is carried out at the end of this work.

First published online: 13 Dec 2015

Keyword : road bridges, structural monitoring, bridge-weight-in-motion, distribution functions, assessment, structural safety

How to Cite
Sousa, H., Costa, B. J. A., Henriques, A. A., Bento, J., & Figueiras, J. A. (2016). Assessment of traffic load events and structural effects on road bridges based on strain measurements. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 22(4), 457-469.
Published in Issue
Apr 27, 2016
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