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Maximum loading on long-span bridges typically occurs in congested traffic conditions. As traffic becomes congested car drivers may change lane, increasing the tendency for trucks to travel in platoons. For long-span bridges this phenomenon may increase the regularity and severity of bridge repair programs, with potential significant associated costs. This research investigates the effect of lane changing by car drivers on bridge loading. A Monte Carlo simulation model in which individual car drivers probabilistically decide, based on a lane-changing bias probability, whether or not to change lane has been developed. The sensitivity of bridge loading to this factor is investigated for different bridge lengths and traffic compositions. This research concludes that the lane-changing behavior of car drivers has an effect on bridge loading for long-span bridges, and the magnitude of this effect is quite sensitive to the percentage of trucks in the traffic.
Enright, B., Carey, C. and Caprani, C. (2012), 'The Effect of Lane Changing on Long-Span Highway Bridge Traffic Loading', In: F. Biondini, D.M. Frangopol, Eds, 6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Stresa, Italy, Taylor & Francis.