A practical multi-lane factor model of bridges based on multi-truck presence considering lane load disparities

Junyong Zhou, Colin C. Caprani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Many bridge design specifications consider multi-lane factors (MLFs) a critical component of the traffic load model. Measured multi-lane traffic data generally exhibit significant lane disparities in traffic loads over multiple lanes. However, these disparities are not considered in current specifications. To address this drawback, a multi-coefficient MLF model was developed based on an improved probabilistic statistical approach that considers the presence of multiple trucks. The proposed MLF model and approach were calibrated and demonstrated through an example site. The model sensitivity analysis demonstrated the significant influence of lane disparity of truck traffic volume and truck weight distribution on the MLF. Using the proposed approach, the experimental site study yielded MLFs comparable with those directly calculated using traffic load effects. The exclusion of overloaded trucks caused the proposed approach, existing design specifications, and conventional approach of ignoring lane load disparity to generate comparable MLFs, while the MLFs based on the proposed approach were the most comprehensive. The inclusion of overloaded trucks caused the conventional approach and design specifications to overestimate the MLFs significantly. Finally, the benefits of the research results to bridge practitioners were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877–894
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2021


  • bridges
  • lane load disparity
  • multi-lane factor
  • multi-truck presence
  • traffic load
  • weigh-in-motion data

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