Congestion effect on maximum dynamic stresses of bridges

Kianoosh Samanipour, Hassan Vafaia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bridge behavior under passing traffic loads has been studied for the past 50 years. This paper presents how to model congestion on bridges and how the maximum dynamic stress of bridges change during the passing of moving vehicles. Most current research is based on mid-span dynamic effects due to traffic load and most bridge codes define a factor called the dynamic load allowance (DLA), which is applied to the maximum static moment under static loading. This paper presents an algorithm to solve the governing equation of the bridge as well as the equations of motions of two real European trucks with different speeds, simultaneously. It will be shown, considering congestion in eight case studies, the maximum dynamic stress and how far from the mid-span it occurs during the passing of one or two trucks with different speeds. The congestion effect on the maximum dynamic stress of bridges can make a significant difference in the magnitude. By finite difference method, it will be shown that where vehicle speeds are considerably higher, for example in the case of railway bridges which have more than one railway line or in the case of multiple lane highway bridges where congestion is probable, current designing codes may predict dynamic stresses lower than actual stresses; therefore, the consequences of a full length analysis must be used to design safe bridges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-135
Number of pages25
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 10 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridge
  • Congestion
  • DLA (dynamic load allowance)
  • Dynamics
  • Finite difference method
  • Maximum dynamic stress
  • Stress analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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