Keywords: bridges, load rating, old structures, proof loading, safety, structural engineering, structural reliability, traffic loads, built environment, bridge reliability, Australia, risk assessment, risk management
Reliability-based load-rating procedure for existing bridges
A procedure has been developed to enable structural engineers to assess the reliability of existing bridges and to determine reliability-based load-ratings for existing bridges without using the classical methods of structural reliability analysis. The reliability index β is expressed as an explicit function of load and resistance parameters similar to those considered in conventional structural engineering calculations. Furthermore, the calculation procedures are formulated to account for the beneficial 'proof-loading' effect of historical traffic loading that has been successfully carried without damage. The results are based on a new type of traffic load model that has been calibrated in relation to Australian traffic load data.