Assessment of load carrying capacity and fatigue life expectancy of a monumental Masonry Arch Bridge by field load testing: a case study of veresk

  • Ataei, Shervan (School of Railway Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Tajalli, Mosab (School of Railway Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Miri, Amin (School of Railway Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2015.11.04
  • Accepted : 2016.06.23
  • Published : 2016.08.25


Masonry arch bridges present a large segment of Iranian railway bridge stock. The ever increasing trend in traffic requires constant health monitoring of such structures to determine their load carrying capacity and life expectancy. In this respect, the performance of one of the oldest masonry arch bridges of Iranian railway network is assessed through field tests. Having a total of 11 sensors mounted on the bridge, dynamic tests are carried out on the bridge to study the response of bridge to test train, which is consist of two 6-axle locomotives and two 4-axle freight wagons. Finite element model of the bridge is developed and calibrated by comparing experimental and analytical mid-span deflection, and verified by comparing experimental and analytical natural frequencies. Analytical model is then used to assess the possibility of increasing the allowable axle load of the bridge to 25 tons. Fatigue life expectancy of the bridge is also assessed in permissible limit state. Results of F.E. model suggest an adequacy factor of 3.57 for an axle load of 25 tons. Remaining fatigue life of Veresk is also calculated and shown that a 0.2% decrease will be experienced, if the axle load is increased from 20 tons to 25 tons.


Supported by : Iranian railway organization


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