Design Procedures for Footbridges Subjected to Walking Loads: Comparison and Remarks

Alberto Maria Avossa, Cristoforo Demartino, Francesco Ricciardelli


This paper aims at pointing out some misconceptions concerning the evaluation of the walking-induced dynamic response of footbridges, and their impact on design procedures. First, a review of the existing Code provisions is briefly presented. In particular single-walker models and multiple-walker models are addressed; in doing so, models originally presented in different forms are made homogeneous for the purpose of comparison; their limits of applicability and advantages are pointed out. Then, the response of six steel box girder footbridges with different spans is evaluated following the provisions of existing Standards and Guidelines, and compared with allowable comfort levels. The comparison showed a wide scatter of the results, revealing some inconsistencies of the procedures, and underlining a clear need for their critical revision.


footbridge response models; footbridges; structural vibration assessment; vibration serviceability limit state; walking loading models; walking-induced vibrations.

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DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2017.12


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