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Influence of the pavement surface on the vibrations induced by heavy traffic in road bridges

Camara, A., Vazquez, V. F., Ruiz-Teran, A. M. & Paje, S. E. (2017). Influence of the pavement surface on the vibrations induced by heavy traffic in road bridges. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 44(12), pp. 1099-1111. doi: 10.1139/cjce-2017-0310


The irregularity of the pavement surface governs the traffic-induced vibrations in road bridges, but it is either ignored or simulated by means of ideal pavements that differ significantly from real cases. This work presents a detailed dynamic analysis of a heavy truck crossing a 40-m span composite deck bridge using on-site measurements of different existing road profiles, as well as code-based ideal pavements. By activating or deactivating certain spatial frequency bands of the pavement, it is observed that the ranges 0.2 - 1 and 0.02 - 0.2 cycles/m are critical for the comfort of the pedestrians and the vehicle users, respectively. Well maintained roads with low values of the displacement Power Spectral Density (PSD) associated with these spatial frequency ranges could reduce significantly the vibration on the sidewalks and, specially, in the vehicle cabin. Finally, a consistent road categorisation for vibration assessment based on the PSD of the pavement irregularity evaluated at the dominant frequencies is proposed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by NRC Research Press, 2017.
Publisher Keywords: bridge dynamics, pavement irregularity, vibrations, vehicle-bridge interaction models, pedestrians
Subjects: T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
T Technology > TG Bridge engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Accepted Version
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