The effect of traffic load model assumptions on the reliability of road bridges

M. Teichgräber, M. Nowak, J. Köhler, D. Straub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Modern structural design standards, such as the Eurocode, follow a semi-probabilistic approach, in which the safety of a structure is controlled by partial safety factors. These standards are based on simplified models of load and structural performance, where approximations are made that typically lie on the safe side, leading to additional “hidden” safety. If these models are replaced by more sophisticated and potentially more accurate models, some of this hidden safety might disappear. Overall, increased accuracy is preferable, as it leads to a more economical and sustainable use of resources, but the question remains whether lost hidden safety leads to an overall reduction in structural reliability. In this contribution, we investigate the hidden safeties in a three-field support reinforced concrete bridge under traffic load. Firstly, the bridge is designed by means of a more sophisticated traffic load model. For this purpose, the traffic load is modeled with simulation using measured traffic data and the resulting load effects are modeled with extreme value statistics. Finally, the reliability of the different design variations of the bridge are calculated with a full probabilistic approach. Thereby, four different definitions of failure are compared. The analysis results in a quantification of the hidden safeties associated with the traffic and the static model following Eurocode. Based on the results, we discuss implications for future regulations for structural design and assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife-Cycle Analysis and Assessment in Civil Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationTowards an Integrated Vision - Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2018
EditorsDan M. Frangopol, Robby Caspeele, Luc Taerwe
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Pages2837-2845
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781138626331
StatePublished - 2019
Event6th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2018 - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 28 Oct 201831 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameLife-Cycle Analysis and Assessment in Civil Engineering: Towards an Integrated Vision - Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2018

Conference

Conference6th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2018
Country/TerritoryBelgium
CityGhent
Period28/10/1831/10/18

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