Critical loading events for the assessment of medium span bridges

Colin C. Caprani, Dublin Institute of Technology
S. A. Grave, Trinity College Dublin
E. J. O'Brien, University College Dublin
A. J. O'Connor, Trinity College Dublin

Document Type Conference Paper

In proceedings of the 6th. International Conference on Computational Structures Technology, eds. B.H.V. Topping and Z. Bittnar, Civil-Comp. Press, Stirling, Scotland. Paper no. 147, 11pp.


This paper describes the simulation of free-flowing traffic across bridges to predict the characteristic values for bridge load effects such as bending moment and shear force. The results of these simulations are then used to demonstrate that, in predicting the characteristic extreme load effects to which a bridge may be subjected, it is not sufficient to solely model one-or two-truck presence events. It is shown that loading events involving three or more trucks may need be included in the model for short to medium spans. The critical loading events for a particular load effect are strongly dependent on the span and the shape of the influence line.