Capacity assessment of a Single Span Arch Bridge with Backfill

The aim of this project is to assess the load carrying capacity of the Glomman Bridge outside of the Swedish city Örebro. The Glomman Bridge is an unreinforced concrete single span arch bridge with backfill. The bridge was constructed in 1923 on assignment from the Swedish National Railways (SJ).

The failure criteria used in this study is that the bridge collapses when any cross section in the concrete arch reaches its ultimate capacity. In reality, the bridge may manage heavier loads than this. When the capacity is reached in a cross section, a hinge is formed and the arch relocates the forces to other parts of the arch that can carry higher stresses. The real bridge will not collapse until a fourth hinge is formed, and by that a mechanism. To be able to calculate the cross section forces in the arch, it was necessary to know the influences of the loads on the arch when they were run along the bridge.

For this purpose, influence lines were obtained from a 2D finite element model created in ABAQUS, a general FE-analyses software. A calculation routine to find the least favourable load combination was then created in Matlab, a numerical calculation software. The routine was made to find the worst case among different load cases and to combine the standardized axle pressures with the present number of axles.
Source: KTH
Author: Bjurström, Henrik | Lasell, Johan

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