An efficient approach for traffic load modelling of long span bridges

Junyong Zhou, Xin Ruan, Xuefei Shi, Colin C. Caprani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Traffic micro-simulation is the newly developed approach for loading calculation of long span bridges. The approach is quite precise, but computationally expensive to consider the full extent of traffic loading scenarios during a bridge lifetime. To address this shortfall, an efficient multi-scale traffic modelling approach is proposed. The proposed approach uses micro- and macro-simulation with different load model varieties (LMVs), or fidelities (levels of detail) of traffic loading in different bridge regions, to achieve optimal computation efficiency while maintaining the precision of loading calculation. Metrics of influence line (IL) characteristics, such as degree of nonlinearity, are proposed to evaluate the appropriateness of the choice of LMV, and standards of the metrics are also investigated to quantify the implementation of LMVs on bridge IL regions in the multi-scale modelling. Finally, two typical ILs are used along with random traffic modelling to study the feasibility of the proposed approach. It is shown that the multi-scale modelling approach proposed here achieves high computational efficiency and accuracy, which is significant for the massive traffic load simulation for lifetime bridge load effect analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-581
Number of pages13
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2019


  • degree of nonlinearity
  • efficient approach
  • influence line
  • Long span bridge
  • multi-scale modelling
  • traffic simulation

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