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A framework is presented for the assessment of the safety of a bridge deck under actual traffic loading using an enhanced Monte Carlo method which attempts to reduce computational cost while preserving the advantages of more conventional, computationally intensive, simulation. To generate the bridge loading scenarios, an extensive Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) database is used to calibrate a sophisticated simulation model of two-directional traffic. Traffic and vehicle characteristics are generated from statistical distributions derived from measured traffic data. Two examples are used in this study to assess the usefulness and accuracy of the enhanced method. In the first, a simple example is used for which the exact theoretical probability of failure is available. Hence, the error in estimation can be assessed directly. In the second, ‘long-run’ simulations are used to generate a very large database of load effects from which very accurate estimates can be deduced of lifetime maximum effects.
Enright, B., Hajializadeh, D., OBrien, E.J. (2013), ‘Reliability-based bridge assessment using enhanced Monte Carlo to simulate extreme traffic loading’ 11th International Conference on Structural Safety & Reliability (ICOSSAR), New York.