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3

HIGHWAY

TRAFFIC

LOADS

Bridge design standards of different countries specify design loads which are meant to reflect or simulate the worst loading that can be caused on the bridge by traffic permitted and expected to pass over it. The specified bridge design loads take into account the regulations governing the weights and sizes of vehicles as well as the mixture of heavy and light vehicles, carriageway width and bridge spans.

For example, short spans, say up to 10m for bending moments and 6m for shear force, are governed by single axles or bogies with closely spaced multiple axles. The worst loading for spans over 20m is often caused by more than three vehicles. The worst vehicles are often the medium weight compact vehicles with two axles and not the heaviest vehicles with four, five or six axles. The criteria thus change from axle loads to worst vehicles as the span increases, with the mixture of vehicles in the traffic being an important factor for the longer spans.

When axles or single vehicles are the worst case, the effect of impact has to be allowed for, but several closely spaced vehicles represent a jam situation without significant impact. The adjacent lanes of short span bridges may all be loaded simultaneously with the worst axles or vehicles, but this is less likely for long span. There is the growing problem of illegal overweight vehicles weighing as much as 40% over their legal limits to deal with. We shall now see how some of the design codes specify and apply the primary live loads. We shall consider examples from the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

2.3.1 Design Live Loads in the UK In the United Kingdom, bridge design loading is specified in the Department of Transport Standard, BD37/88, which is the composite version of BS 5400 Part 2: 1978. BD 37/88 incorporates all the amendments that were to be made to the BS, due to changes observed in the normal traffic on most British roads, before joining the EU. The Standard refers to normal primary traffic loading as Type HA and abnormal vehicles as Type HB.

3. .2. All bridges should be designed to resist this loading. (The knife edge load is an attempt to model the effect of a single localized heavy axle and is placed on the span where its effect is maximized for bending and shear).1.1 HA Loading HA loading is represented by a theoretical loading model consisting of a uniformly distributed load (HAU) combined with a Knife-edge load (HAK) of 120 kN per lane placed across the width of each notional lane.

is represented as a curve whose equation is W = 336 (1/L)2/3 of lane for loaded length in the direction of traffic up to 50m and W = 36 (1/L)1/10 of lane for loaded length in direction of traffic between 50m and 1600m.The uniformly distributed lane loading. W for L > 1600 m should be agreed with the appropriate authority. . W per linear metre of lane.

e. the loading represents the effects of closely spaced vehicles of 24t laden weight. i.On loaded lengths of up to 30m. This longitudinal attenuation of loads is an attempt to model the real-life situation where the intensity of the 24t vehicles is likely to decrease as the loaded length increases. Above this figure. the intensity gradually decreases to a constant value for loaded lengths of 380m or more. trucks. .

No separate calculation is required for impact as the standard loadings given include a 25% impact allowance. provided that enough axles and wheels are present to distribute the load so that the effects are the same.The dynamic effect of moving vehicles on a bridge arises from imperfections in the surfacing. and the vehicles¶ suspension systems. the short duration of loading. It should be noted that the HA loading curves cater for vehicles up to a gross weight of 40t. .

1N/mm2. .2.1 Primary Single Wheel Load A single wheel load (HAW) of 100KN can be placed on small areas of roadway to replace the effects of HAU and HAK.3. The contact area of the wheel on the road surface is uniformly distributed over a circle of 340mm or a square of side 300mm giving a contact stress of 1.1.1.

It is frequently applied to the top slabs between longitudinal beams in order to calculate the local effect of wheel loads. .This form of HA loading is used where the distribution of loads is small and so a member may be required to take virtually the full weight of a wheel.

8m and the distance between the pair of axles is variable.2 HB (Primary Abnormal) Loads The primary abnormal load is represented by a sixteen-wheeled vehicle with four axles. The base unit is 10kN per axle. This is termed the HB vehicle and is shown in Fig.1.2.3. . Each pair of axles has a constant spacing of 1. Thus 25 units of HB is equivalent to an axle load of 25 x 10 =250KN. each having four wheels. The weight of the vehicle is defined as a number of units dependent upon the expected gross axle load.

(On long bridges the occupied lane is assumed clear for 25m ahead and behind the vehicle.As such vehicles travel slowly. no impact allowance is made. with normal HA loading occupying the remainder). it is reasonable to assume that they occupy a single traffic lane alone. Also. . since movement of such vehicles usually involves a police escort.

but on the road bridges having footpaths.3 Primary Footway Loading A crowd loading of 5kN/m2 should be considered on footbridges. the loading on the footpath is 4kN/m2.1. the footway loading is decreased to (5K) kN/m2 where K = HAU lane loading for appropriate loaded length (in kN/m) x 10 L + 270 .2.3. On loaded lengths greater than 36m.

and assumes that the traffic in one lane brakes simultaneously over the entire loaded length. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the force is dissipated to a considerable extent in plan. The effect is considered as a longitudinal force applied at the road surface.2. . and for most concrete and composite shallow deck structures it is reasonable to consider the load spread over the entire width of the deck.3.1.4 Secondary Braking Loads This is considered as a group effect as far as HA loads are concerned.

The braking of an HB vehicle is an isolated effect distributed evenly between eight wheels of two axles only of the vehicle and is dissipated as for the HA load. The significance of the braking load on the structure is twofold. namely. .

thus increasing the bending moments in the stem and footings.The design of the bridge abutments or piers where it is applied as an horizontal load at bearing level. and The design of the bridge bearings if composed of an elastomeric bearing resisting horizontal loading shear. .

The Code design loads are shown below Braking Loads Traffic Load HA 8KN /m of loaded length + 250kN ( but 750KN) HB Nominal HB load x 0.25 .

1. Collision Loads Part Load Parapet Supports 1.5 Secondary Skidding Load This is an accidental load consisting of a single point load of 250 KN acting horizontally in any direction at the road surface in a single notional lane.2.3.4 KN/m See Table 15 of Standard . It is considered to act with the primary HA loading in combination 4 only.

BD 37/88 gives the centrifugal load as Fc=40.3.000/(r+150) .5 Secondary Centrifugal Loads These loads are important only on elevated curved superstructures with a radius of less than 1000m supported on slender piers.1.2.

3. they are average values generally accepted as representative of the particular load being applied) and must be multiplied by partial safety factors in order to obtain design loads at either the serviceability or ultimate limit state.1. These are specified in Table 1 of Standard BD 37/88. A summary is given in the table.6 Partial Safety Factors All loads specified in Standard BD 37/88 are nominal (that is. .2.

2.7 Load Combinations Not all of the loads can realistically be considered to act simultaneously. and Standard BD 37/88 specifies five combinations considered µreasonable¶ for design purposes.3. .1.

The secondary combinations are not to be considered as having less importance than the principal ones.There are three principal combinations (1 to 3) and two secondary combinations (4 and 5) . though they are generally not critical in the design of short to medium span bridges. .

consists of combination 1 loads with effects arising from temperature changes and any erection loads .consists of combination 1 loads. wind loads and temporary erection loads Combination 3.consists of permanent loads and appropriate primary live loads Combination 2.Combination 1.

but each load is taken with its appropriate primary live load Combination 5 ± consists of permanent loads and due to friction at the bearings . The secondary live loads are considered separately.Combination 4 ± consists of permanent loads and secondary live loads.

For most short to medium span bridges combination 1 usually governs design at the ultimate limit state. For the dead loads.2 & 3. superimposed dead load Clauses 3.3 of Standard BD 37/88 should be consulted. .2.2. 4 and 5 at the serviceability state. checks are then carried for combinations 3.

8 Application of Traffic Loads The live load is applied to the carriageway within notional lanes which do not necessarily correspond to the user traffic lanes.1.2. The following definitions apply.- . The reason for this is not clear.3.

Carriageway (cl. Carriageway width is the width between raised kerbs.2) The lanes that are marked on running surface of the bridge and are normally used by traffic . Traffic Lanes (cl. hard shoulders.1) The carriageway is that part of the running surface which includes all traffic lanes. 3.3.9.2.9. hard strips and marker strips.2.

3 >10.8m.95m -------.25m up to and including 21.4 >14.25m ----.0m up to and including 7.6 Generally.2.9.3.5 m -----------.60m up to and including 18. The carriageway is divided into the least possible integral number of notional lanes having equal width as follows: 5.2 >7.90m ----.95m up to and including 14.3) The notional parts of the carriageway used solely for the purpose of the applying the specified live loads. number of notional lanes = carriageway width / 3.8 rounded up to the nearest integer. .5m up to and including 10.60m ----.5 >18.3m ± 3.Notional Lanes (cl. Notional lanes fall in the range of 2.

is a factor which accounts for the attenuation of traffic loading in the transverse direction.1 HA Loading Alone The full HA is applied to the first two notional lanes (cl.6. . except where otherwise specified by the authority. HAK is applied once in the loaded length.1. Further information is given in Table 14 of the Standard BD 37/88.1) in the appropriate parts of the influence line for the element or member under consideration and HA applied to all other lanes.3.8.2.4.

3.8.4. 6.1.2) Figure 13 of Standard BD 37/88 describes how to combine HA and HB loading for global analysis ..2 HA and HB Combined (cl.

25 1.3.10 1.00 1.4 6. 3 6.7 6.5 1.2.5 6.1.6.25 1.10 1.50 1.3 1.00 1.25 1.2.6.4 7.00 HB Traction/Braking HA HB Skidding Footway/ Cycle track 4 4 4 1 2.7 6.10 1.00 .00 1.25 1.LOAD FACTORS.20 1. fl LOAD COMBINATION CLAUSE ULS SLS Primary live loads HA 1 2.7.30 1.3.5 6.00 1.1. 3 6. 3 1 2.3 7.00 1.4 1.

.2.3.2 US Specification and Loading Systems In the United States. all of which must be considered separately with a constant lane load of 9. highway loads are based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standard Specification for Highway Bridges 1996. The specification stipulates two truck loading systems and a tandem (a pair of axles) of the military type. which is irrespective of loaded length.3kN/m.

1.2m to 20m).3.2.2.1 Truck Loading Systems The truck loading is divided into classes: the H loadings and the HS loading. both of which are shown in Fig 3. . the HS loadings represent a twoaxle tractor and a single axle semi-trailer combination with variable spacing between the two rear axles (4.1. The H loadings represent an idealized standard two-axle truck.

Each truck loading system consists of two vehicles: the H system has the HL15-93 and the HL20-93 trucks. . while the HS system has the HLS 15-93 and HLS 20-93 trucks.2m apart. each weighing 110kN. The tandem loading consist of a pair of axles which are 1. and the affix indicates the year the loading was specified. The number following the standard truck specification HL or HLS refers to the gross weight of the truck in tons. In the Fig. W represents the total weight of the truck and load in ton for the HL trucks or the loaded weight of the tractor in the HLS loading.

whichever produces the greatest stress. .93 loading or the tandem loading.3.2. For other highways that may carry heavy truck traffic the minimum live load shall be HLS 15-93.2 Selection of Loadings The AASHTO specifications provide that bridges supporting interstate highways shall be designed for HLS 20.2.

Each loading shall be considered as a unit.3 Application of Loadings The lane together with standard truck or tandem loading shall be assumed to occupy a width of 3. each equal to one half the roadway width.2.2. . Roadway widths from 6m to 7.2m shall have two design lanes. and fractional load-lane widths or fractional trucks shall not be used.6m wide design traffic lanes spaced across the entire bridge roadway in numbers and positions required to produce the maximum stress.0m.3. These loads shall be placed in 3.

65 .Where maximum stresses are produced in any member by loading any number of traffic lanes simultaneously.0 Three lanes 0.2 Two lanes 1. the following multiple presence factors are to be used to modify the live load stresses according to the number of design traffic lanes: Single lane 1.85 Four lanes and above 0.

. The minimum distance between the wheels of two adjacent trucks is 1.The multiple presence factor takes account of the improbable coincidence of the design truck being present in all the lanes at the same time.2m. The minimum distance from the centre of the wheel to the face of parapet is 300mm.

3. Dsta is the static deflection under live loads.2. This is taken care of by an impact factor called dynamic load allowance (DLA) defined as DLA=Ddyn / Dsta Where.2. and Ddyn is the additional dynamic deflection under live loads.4 Dynamic Effects Dynamic effects due to irregularities in the road surface and different suspension systems magnify the static effects of the live loads. .

.33 typical for truck loading) Values of DLA are given in the AASHTO Specification for individual bridge components. (1.Dynamic live load effect = (static live load effect) x (1+DLA).

The braking force is placed in all design lanes. . the braking force shall be taken as the greater of 25% of the axle weight of the design truck or design tandem OR 5% of the design truck plus lane load or 5% of the design tandem plus lane load. with traffic heading in the same direction.5 Longitudinal Loads According to the specifications.3. which are considered to be loaded.2.2.

The forces are assumed to act horizontally at a height 1.8m above the roadway surface in either longitudinal direction to cause the extreme force effects. .

2. .3.2.6 Partial Load Factors Design is carried out based on either permissible stresses or limit state philosophy with partial safety factors. The following factors were obtained from work carried out for the Federal Highway Administration [1] based on AASHTO-LRFD (Load and Resistance Factor Design) Specification.

2.3.9 0.65 (FWS = Future Wearing Surface) .75 Surfacing (FWS) 1.6.2.5 Beneficial 0.1 Load Factors Load Adverse Parapet / Slab 1.25 Live Load 1.

2.6.9 1.2.3.0 (vehicular collision with parapets) .2 Strength limit state Extreme Resistance Factor 0.

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