Fatigue assessment of an existing orthotropic steel deck to comply with future traffic intensity

Wim Nagy, Hans De Backer, Glenn Thierens, Hendrik Blontrock, Philippe Van Bogaert, Kristel Reynaert, Johan Maljaars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Orthotropic Steel Decks (OSDs) are widely used in long span bridges because of their extremely light weight when compared to their load carrying capacity. These deck types typically consist of a grillage of closed trapezoidal longitudinal stiffeners and transverse web stiffeners, welded to a deck plate. As a result, fatigue problems occur due to the extensive use of complex welded connections. Unfortunately, fatigue effects have often been overlooked during design, which was also the case for an important multiple span box girder viaduct in Belgium (1978). Due to a renovation program of the ring road around Brussels, the number of traffic lanes on the viaduct should be extended from three to four. As a result, questions have been raised about the current structural health of the OSD due to fatigue and future fatigue damage accumulation. Therefore, extensive FEM analyses have been performed, taking into account various parameters such as increased traffic volume and accompanying axle loads, historical positions of the heavy lanes, historical road pavements and their temperature-dependent load spreading effects. In conclusion, accurate fatigue damages have been determined for all fatigue details. Therefore, focused inspections and design solutions can be provided, resulting in a durable bridge management for the next 60 years.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th Congress of IABSE, New York City 2019
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evolving Metropolis - Report
PublisherInternational Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783857481659
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event20th IABSE Congress, New York City 2019: The Evolving Metropolis: The Evolving Metropolis - Javits Center, New York City, United States
Duration: 4 Sep 20196 Sep 2019


Conference20th IABSE Congress, New York City 2019: The Evolving Metropolis
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City
Internet address


  • Asphalt surfacing
  • Fatigue damage
  • Orthotropic steel deck bridge
  • Renovation


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