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XXVIIth World Road Congress
Proceedings of the Congress

Workshop 04 - Mitigation of bridge failure by large overloads

Tuesday, October 3 14:30 - 18:00
Chair: Bernard JACOB, PIARC Committee 2.3 on Freight and Kiyohiro IMAI, PIARC Committee 4.2 on Bridges
Room: Club A, 1st floor

Existing bridges, above all aged or partly damaged structures, are sensitive to traffic overloads. Legally loaded vehicles, within the general weight limits and regulation in force, authorized abnormal loads, or illegally overloaded vehicles may cross bridges above their capacity. Crossing a posted bridge above the limit is an infringement, but with penalties much lower than the potential consequences for the bridge. The consequences may be very costly in case of severe damages, or even because of a bridge closure, and in case of a collapse, fatalities and severe injuries may occur. Vehicles, loaded above an acceptable limit, if this limit is unknown or not displayed, may also cross non-posted bridges.

To mitigate such adverse events, a procedure in several step may be implemented. It was presented and analysed in this workshop:

1. Identify the sensitive existing bridges exposed to high loads and overloads
2. Monitor the traffic loads on each sensitive bridge, either permanently or during survey periods.
3. Various and graduated measures can be implemented to mitigate (large) overloads on bridges.

The workshop was co-organised and supported by PIARC Committee TC2.3 (freight), and above all its WG2.3.1 on “Overload detection by WIM”, and PIARC Committee TC4.2 (bridges). The output of the PIARC special project on Overloads carried out in 2020 was also used. International organisations were involved such as: ASECAP, FEHRL, FHWA, ISWIM…

  1. Welcome and session introduction
  2. Presentations
  3. Panel Discussion
  4. Conclusion
  5. Organization

Welcome and session introduction

• Bernard JACOB, University Gustave Eiffel, France, TC 2.3


Moderators: Bernard JACOB (TC 2.3), Gonzalo ARIAS HOFMAN (TC 4.2)

  • Overloads and Bridge Safety in the USA
    Joey HARTMAN (FHWA, United States) - TC 4.2
  • Overloaded vehicles, fatigue damage and enforcement on the Honshu Shikoku Bridge Expressway in Japan
    Kiyohiro IMAI (Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co., Japan) - TC 4.2
  • Mitigation of large overloads on sensitive bridges
    Bernard JACOB (France) - University Gustave Eiffel, TC 2.3
  • Traffic overloads on bridges in Belgium: from traffic mitigation to WIM direct enforcement
    Pierre GILLES (Belgium) - Walloon Public Service, TC 4.2
  • How WIM-systems help to protect bridges; Identification of sensitive bridges by the load-bearing index
    Yvonne-Christine GUNREBEN (BMDV, Germany) - TC 4.2
    Jens DIERKE (BAST, Germany) - TC 2.3
  • Effect of modern traffic on safety of older bridges
    Aleš ŽNIDARIČ (ZAG, Slovenia) - TC 4.2
    Dimitrios PAPASTERGIOU (OFROU / FEDRO, Switzerland) - TC 4.2
  • Managing the impacts of non-complaint heavy vehicles on Queensland bridges
    Rob HEYWOOD (Australia) - Director, Heywood Engineering Solutions and FMA Engineering Services, Queensland
    Torill PAPE (Australia) - Director (Structures Design, Review and Standards), Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland


Panel Discussion

• Bernard JACOB, UGE, France
• Nicolas BARDOU, Vinci Autoroutes, France
• Erwin PILCH, Asfinag, Austria
• Livia PARDI, Autostrade, Italy
• Aleš ZNIDARIC, ZAG, Slovenia and FEHRL President
• Rob HEYWOOD, Queensland, Australia
• Heungbae GIL, South Korea
• Matias VALENZUELA, PUCV, Chile

The panel discussion also included a debate with the audience.


Bernard JACOB, PIARC Committee 2.3 on Freight and Kiyohiro IMAI, PIARC Committee 4.2 on Bridges


Session Organisation and Secretariat: Bernard JACOB (TC 2.3) and Gonzalo ARIAS HOFMAN (TC 4.2)