U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content
FacebookYouTubeTwitterFlickrLinkedIn

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Back to Publication List        
Publication Number:  FHWA-HIF-18-062    Date:  May 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HIF-18-062
Date: May 2018

 

A Performance Based Approach for Loading Definition of Heavy Vehicle Impact Events

PDF Version (7.42 MB)

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

 

FOREWORD

This report presents a performance-based approach for designing a bridge pier subject to impact by a tractor-semi-trailer weighing up to 80,000 lbs, based on an extensive experimental and computational investigation. This work is important because bridge failure data compiled by the New York State Department of Transportation, indicate that collision, caused by vessels and vehicles, is the second leading cause of bridge failures after hydraulic causes. The current AASHTO-LRFD (2012) specifications recommend designing a bridge pier vulnerable to vehicular impacts for an equivalent static force of 600 kips (2,670 kN) applied in a horizontal plane at a distance of five feet above the ground level. However, the provisions do not account for the dynamic interaction that occurs between the colliding vehicle and bridge structure. More importantly, they do not articulate an impact-resistant performance philosophy or strategy, nor do they recognize the effects of vehicle characteristics on the equivalent static force.

The work reported herein addresses these limitations of the AASHTO-LRFD specifications for designing bridge piers against impact by heavy vehicles. A performance based approach that relates demands (in terms of the applied force time histories) and capacity (in terms of acceptable shear distortion and plastic rotation) is developed for the design of bridge piers vulnerable to heavy vehicle impact. This report will be of interest to bridge program personnel from Federal, State and local agencies as well as to parties engaged in bridge-related research, and the practicing bridge engineering community. The findings and recommendations will also support future development of the AASHTO Guide Specifications using the proposed approach.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., PhD.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HIF-18-062

2. Government Accession No.

 

3 Recipient's Catalog No.

 

4. Title and Subtitle

A Performance-Based Approach for Loading Definition of Heavy Vehicle Impact Events

5. Report Date

May 2018

6. Performing Organization Code

 

7. Author(s)

Agrawal, A.K., El-Tawil, S., Cao, R., Xu, X., Chen, X. and Wong, W.

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

The City College of New York
160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

 

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-14-D-00010/0003

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Research, Development, and Technology
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report, 08/05/2014-08/04/2017

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

 

16. Abstract

Based on bridge failure data compiled by the New York State Department of Transportation, collision, both caused by vessels and vehicles, is the second leading cause of bridge failures after hydraulic. The current AASHTO-LRFD (2012) specification recommends designing a bridge pier vulnerable to vehicular impacts for an equivalent static force of 600 kips (2,670 kN) applied in a horizontal plane at a distance of 5.0 feet above the ground level. This report presents a performance-based approach for designing a bridge pier subject to impact by a tractor-semi-trailer weighing up to 80,000 lb based on an extensive experimental and computational investigation. The mechanics and modes of failure of bridge pier bents during vehicular impacts are investigated through two pendulum impact tests on a large scale physical model of a three-column bent system. The parameters of the computational model are calibrated to these two tests and further validated through comparisons to other published small-scale impact tests. Through extensive numerical simulation of heavy vehicle (tractor-semitrailer) impacts on piers, the impact force time histories are proposed in the form of analytical triangular pulse functions. The parameters of these functions are derived through numerical regression based on the simulation results. A performance-based approach that relates demands (in terms of the applied force time histories) and capacity (in terms of acceptable shear distortion and plastic rotation) is proposed for the design of bridge piers vulnerable to heavy vehicle impact. Since many collision failures have been observed to be dominated by shear failure, the proposed performance-based approach uses capacity design concepts from earthquake engineering to mitigate collapse by minimizing shear distortion of piers impacted by heavy vehicles.

17. Key Words

Vehicular impacts, truck impacts on bridge piers, performance-based approach, heavy vehicle impact event

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
http://www.ntis.gov

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

 

22. Price

 

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

 

 

 

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101