Experimental and Numerical Assessment of an Old Backfilled Concrete Arch Bridge
The paper presents a complex analysis of an old railway backfilled concrete arch bridge located in Rybnik, Poland. The study includes experimental and numerical assessment of the structure aimed at evaluation of precise functional conditions for the bridge further exploitation since all the previous analyses indicated its deficient load carrying capacity and operating speed. It is related to increased requirements for the predicted traffic collated with a very poor technical condition of the bridge. Specific features of the considered structure are very narrow and long arch spans exceeding 30 m, unreinforced concrete material and intensive cracking of the superstructure in numerous sections.
Scope of works includes numerical analysis of the bridge by means of both 2D and 3D Finite Element (FE) models as well as experimental in situ testing of the structure response to railway traffic loads. The obtained results enable evaluation of the structure performance and validation of the numerical models which then are used for assessment of the load carrying capacity of the bridge. A special attention is paid to influence of temperature variation on the behaviour of so large arch spans and its potential influence on the visible extensive cracks. The study may be useful at assessment of similar backfilled arch structures (including masonry arch bridges) subjected to intensive exploitation and advanced degradation.
KeywordsMasonry arch bridge Field testing Numerical analysis Ultimate load Thermal actions
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