Dynamic amplification of a multi-span, continuous orthotropic bridge deck under vehicular movement

A. Rezaiguia, N. Ouelaa, D. F. Laefer, S. Guenfoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The response of a multi-span, continuous orthotropic bridge deck during truck loading is investigated to better understand the dynamic interaction between moving vehicles and highway bridge decks. The present study is based on a recently published, semi-analytical approach for free vibration in which the modal superposition method incorporates intermodal coupling. Herein, the bridge deck is modeled as a jointless, multi-span, orthotropic plate, and the vehicle is modeled as a dynamic, multi-body system. The road surface roughness randomness is modeled as a normal, stationary, random process described by its Power Spectral Density (PSD). The coupled equations of the motion vehicle/bridge deck are solved by Newmark's method. An iterative process in each time step is performed to find the equilibrium between the bridge deck and vehicle tires using an uncoupled algorithm previously developed by other authors. Two numerical application examples are presented: an isotropic and an orthotropic, three-span bridge deck both crossed by an AASHTO-based vehicle model. In example one, the intermodal coupling affects the dynamic deflection of bridge deck but only slightly. Example two demonstrates that the loading mode and the vehicle speed have a significant influence on the Dynamic Amplification Factor. However, the most important parameter to affect the dynamic vehicle/bridge deck interaction force is the road's surface roughness, as has been shown for other bridge types under various load conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-730
Number of pages13
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Dynamic behavior
  • Interaction bridge deck/vehicle
  • Intermodal coupling
  • Multi-span continuous orthotropic plate
  • Newmark's method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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