Methodology for development of live load models for refined analysis of short and medium-span highway bridges

Giorgio Anitori, Joan R. Casas, Michel Ghosn
2017 Structure and Infrastructure Engineering  
The accuracy of bridge system safety evaluations and reliability assessments obtained through refined structural and Finite Element (FE) analyses depends not only on the accuracy of the structural model itself but also on the proper modeling of the maximum traffic loads. While current code-specified live load models were calibrated to properly reflect the safety levels of bridge structures analyzed using the simplified methods adopted in bridge design and evaluation manuals, these load models
more » ... these load models may not lead to accurate results when implemented during refined structural analysis procedures. Accurate live load models need to be defined based on a statistical analysis of real traffic data. This paper describes a method to calibrate appropriate live load models that can be used for advanced analyses of highway bridges. The calibration procedure is demonstrated using actual truck data collected at a representative weigh-in-motion (WIM) station in New York State. Extreme value theory is used to project traffic load effects and calculate the maximum effect expected to take place over different bridge service periods. The proposed calibration methodology is applicable for developing live load models for different bridge types and different design/assessment codes or standards. Live load models obtained using the proposed calibration procedure are readily implementable for deterministic refined analyses of highway bridges to produce similar results to those of complex traffic load simulations. Examples are presented that describe how results of such calibrated live load models would be used in engineering practice.
doi:10.1080/15732479.2017.1406961 fatcat:ie4fo5ga65aipbeisupd47j2l4