Operational deformations in long-span bridges
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis. “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Structure and Infrastructure Engineering on 27 August 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15732479.2014.951857.”
Long-span bridges deform quasi-statically and dynamically under a range of operational conditions including wind, traffic and thermal loads, in varying patterns, at different timescales and with different amplitudes. While external loads and internal forces can only rarely be measured, there are well-developed technologies for measuring deformations and their time and space derivatives. Performance data can be checked against design limits and used for validating conceptual and numerical models which can in turn be used to estimate the external loads and internal forces. Changes in performance patterns and load–response relationships can also be used directly as a diagnostic tool, but excessive deformations themselves are also a concern in terms of serviceability. This paper describes application of a range of measurement technologies, focusing on response to extreme loads, for suspension bridges over the River Tamar (with 335 m main span) and Humber (with 1410 m man span). The effects of vehicular, thermal and wind loads on these very different structures are compared, showing that apart from rare extreme traffic and wind loads, temporal and spatial temperature variations dominate quasi-static response. Observations of deformation data and sensor performance for the two bridges are used to highlight limitations and redundancies in the instrumentation.
Vol. 11, Iss. 4, pp. 556 - 574