Load Test and Model Calibration of a Horizontally Curved Steel Box-Girder Bridge

Document Type : Research Papers


1 Assitant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.

2 M.Sc., Department of Civil Engineering, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.


In this paper, full scale load test of a horizontally curved steel box-girder bridge is carried out in order to detect structural defects, which reportedly result in unwanted vibrations in nearby buildings. The bridge is tested under the passage of six heavy vehicles at different speeds, so as to determine its static and dynamic responses. A total number of one hundred and two (102) sensors are used to measure the displacements, strains, and accelerations of different points of the bridge. It is observed that the bridge vibrates at a fundamental frequency of 2.6 Hz intensively and the first mode of vibration is torsional instead of flexural. The dominant frequency of vibration of the nearby buildings is computed to be approximately 2.5Hz using rational formulas. Thus, nearness of the fundamental frequency of the bridge to those of the adjacent buildings may be causing resonance phenomenon. However, in static load tests, low ranges of strain and displacement illustrated adequate structural capacity and appropriate safety under static loads. Numerical models are created using ANSYS and SAP2000 software products, so as to design the loading test and calibrate the finite element models. The connections of the transversal elements to the girders, transversal element spacing, and changes of the stiffness values of the slabs were found to be the most influential issues in the finite elements calibration process. Finally, considering the total damage of all members, the final health score of the bridge was evaluated as 89% indicating that the bridge is in a very good situation.


Main Subjects

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Volume 48, Issue 2 - Serial Number 2
December 2015
Pages 305-322
  • Receive Date: 02 June 2014
  • Revise Date: 11 July 2015
  • Accept Date: 11 July 2015
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2015