Statistical computation for extreme bridge traffic load effects

Colin C. Caprani, Dublin Institute of Technology
E.J. O'Brien, University College Dublin

Document Type Conference Paper

In proceedings of the 8th. International Conference on Computational Structures Technology, ed. B.H.V. Topping, Civil-Comp Press, Stirling, Scotland, Paper no. 139, 17pp.


The maintenance of highway infrastructure constitutes a major expenditure in many countries. This cost can be reduced significantly by minimizing the repair or replacement of highway bridges. In the assessment of existing bridges, the strength estimate tends to be more accurate than that of traffic loading, due to the more variable nature of loading. Recent advances in the statistical analysis of highway bridge traffic loading have resulted in more accurate forecasts of the actual loading to which a bridge is subject. While these advances require extensive numerical computation, they can significantly improve the accuracy of the calculation. This paper outlines the recent advances and describes the associated computational aspects in detail.