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Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2024) | Viewed by 13583

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: Seismic analysis; design and retrofitting of steel and reinforced concrete buildings; seismic design and assessment of bridges; numerical modelling of steel and reinforced concrete members; seismic behaviour of in plan and in-elevation irregular buildings; capacity models of reinforced concrete members subjected to combined axial force; bending moment and shear force
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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: shear behavior of lightly reinforced beams; high-performance concrete; fiber-reinforced concrete; nonlinear analyses of reinforced concrete structures; repairing and strenghtening of RC columns with FRP or FRCM; repairing and strenghtening of unreinforced masonry with stainless steel ribbons (CAM system); response of corroded RC and PC bridge elements (beams, gerber saddles)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is open to all kinds of advances related to the civil engineering applied to existing bridges. In the last decades, this engineering area has gained unremitting and increasing attention from researchers, engineering companies and public administrations because, due to aging of structures and changes in codes, existing bridges are often not able to ensure the expected structural safety and performance.

Submitted technical articles and review papers should reflect original research studies on the following topics:

  • collection and processing of in situ inspection data
  • structural health monitoring and digital twins
  • management systems
  • laboratory tests on elements or sub-assemblages
  • numerical modelling
  • methods of analysis
  • performance criteria
  • structural assessment
  • rehabilitation and retrofit interventions
  • soil-structure interaction
  • life-cycle cost analysis
  • codification for safety of existing bridges

Please consider that the above topics are not exhaustive of all aspects of the civil engineering applied to existing bridges. So, feel free to submit your contributions on any additional topic that could be relevant to the above- mentioned subject.

Prof. Dr. Pier Paolo Rossi
Dr. Nino Spinella
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • existing bridges
  • monitoring
  • management
  • numerical modelling
  • rehabilitation

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 10509 KiB  
Article
Retrofitting of a Steel Truss Joint by Creating Composite Connections and PTMSs (Post-Tensioned Metal Straps)
by Arman Hajiha, Raffaele Cucuzza and Gabriele Bertagnoli
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2794; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072794 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
The fatigue phenomenon has a significant effect on the joints of steel truss bridges, causing the formation of plastic hinges leading to potential collapse configurations. For this reason, in the last few years, the development of new methods to effectively strengthen such joints [...] Read more.
The fatigue phenomenon has a significant effect on the joints of steel truss bridges, causing the formation of plastic hinges leading to potential collapse configurations. For this reason, in the last few years, the development of new methods to effectively strengthen such joints has gained attention. In this article, a mechanism for the improvement of the resistance to fatigue of these types of connections is proposed, by employing composite joints and post-tensioned metal straps (PTMSs). Following this approach, first the overstressed connections of the structure have been identified during the inspection phase, and subsequently, they have been encased in a concrete casting with a proper level of strength. To analyze the behavior of the steel–concrete mixed solution, a finite element model has been realized in ABAQUS (rel. 2022.0) and it has been validated based on comparison between the numerical results and the experimental ones obtained by laboratory tests. Then, a parametric analysis was performed to investigate the effect of the concrete type employed in the connection behavior. In the second stage of the research, based on the first cracks configuration obtained numerically and observed experimentally, PTMSs have been used to control the cracks and strengthen the joint. The strains and stresses on the concrete and steel parts of the connection were measured before and after the insertion of the PTMSs and compared with the outputs of the model. Additionally, a parametric analysis was carried out to assess the optimal number of straps. The effect of this solution on the resistance of the joint and on the behavior of concrete was analyzed and the effectiveness of the strengthening technique was assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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25 pages, 6129 KiB  
Article
Seismic Vulnerability of Segmental Bridges with Drop-In Span by Pushover Analysis
by Piero Colajanni, Michele Fabio Granata and Lidia La Mendola
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010202 - 25 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Insight into the application of pushover analysis to prestressed concrete segmental bridges built in the 1950s–1970s by cantilevering with medium-large span length is provided. Seismic assessment must be carried out considering the whole structural response and, in particular, the task of tall piers, [...] Read more.
Insight into the application of pushover analysis to prestressed concrete segmental bridges built in the 1950s–1970s by cantilevering with medium-large span length is provided. Seismic assessment must be carried out considering the whole structural response and, in particular, the task of tall piers, bearings, and drop-in spans with Gerber saddles, which are likely to be subjected to girder pounding and/or unseating. In this paper, the assessment of seismic vulnerability is initially performed by linear modal dynamic analysis; then, the efficiency in assessing the seismic response of different methods of pushover analyses is compared, assuming as a benchmark the results of non-linear time history analysis. The outcomes show that, for the bridge with the drop-in span, criteria for selecting the load pattern considered in pushover analysis, the reliable modeling of the bearings, and tall piers play a dominant role in the assessment of the seismic vulnerability, particularly in longitudinal motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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21 pages, 7928 KiB  
Article
Seismic Risk Analysis of Existing Link Slab Bridges Using Novel Fragility Functions
by Fabrizio Scozzese and Lucia Minnucci
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010112 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 651
Abstract
In this paper, a comprehensive probabilistic framework is proposed and adopted to perform seismic reliability and risk analysis of existing link slab (LS) bridges, representing a widely diffused structural typology within the infrastructural networks of many countries worldwide. Unlike classic risk analysis methods, [...] Read more.
In this paper, a comprehensive probabilistic framework is proposed and adopted to perform seismic reliability and risk analysis of existing link slab (LS) bridges, representing a widely diffused structural typology within the infrastructural networks of many countries worldwide. Unlike classic risk analysis methods, innovative fragility functions are used in this work to retrieve more specific and detailed information on the possible failure modes, without limiting the analysis to the global failure conditions but also considering several intermediate damage scenarios (including one or more damage mechanisms), and providing insights on the numerosity of elements involved within a given damage scenario. Reliability analyses are performed on a set of LS bridges with different geometries (total lengths and pier heights) designed according to the Italian codes enforced in the 1970s. Accurate numerical models are developed in OpenSees and Multiple-Stripe nonlinear time–history analyses are carried out to build proper demand models, from which fragility functions are determined according to two limit states: damage onset and near-collapse. Mean annual rates of exceeding are thus estimated through the convolution between the hazard and the fragility. The results shed light on the main failure mechanisms characterizing this bridge typology, highlighting how different levels of risk (hence safety margins) can be associated with failure scenarios that differ in terms of elements/mechanisms involved and damage extension. Such a higher level of detail in the risk analysis may be useful to better quantify post-earthquake consequences (e.g., costs and losses) and define more tailored retrofit interventions. A comparison of the reliability levels associated with bridges of the same class with different geometries is finally presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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16 pages, 6271 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Impact on Corrosion of Reinforced Concrete Bridges and Their Seismic Performance
by Marco Zucca, Filippo Landi, Mario Lucio Puppio, Fausto Mistretta, Paolo Formichi and Pietro Croce
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010060 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 852
Abstract
As a consequence of climate change impact, a significant variation in terms of temperature, atmospheric humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration levels is happening. This condition leads to several negative effects on the safety and the life cycle of existing concrete structures, such as [...] Read more.
As a consequence of climate change impact, a significant variation in terms of temperature, atmospheric humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration levels is happening. This condition leads to several negative effects on the safety and the life cycle of existing concrete structures, such as the increase in the rate of material degradation, due to corrosion phenomena. In fact, the presence of carbonation and corrosion phenomena significantly influence the load-bearing capacity of existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures, under both static and dynamic loads. Among the wide range of existing RC constructions, bridges stand out for their importance. Furthermore, as structures directly exposed to the weather effects, they are more susceptible to these phenomena. In this paper, the influence of corrosion on existing RC motorway viaducts’ seismic behavior, considering the impact of climate change, is investigated, by means of an efficient procedure based on the implementation of 3D simplified finite element models and the use of analytical relations to obtain the amount of reduction in the steel reinforcement area as a function of the age of the bridge and of the different corrosion scenarios analyzed. Several scenarios for the expected variations in CO2 concentrations, temperature, and relative humidity are evaluated, considering that most of the viaducts present in the Italian motorway network were built between the 1960s and the 1970s. The results obtained using the projection of climate change impacts are compared with those calculated considering the corrosion scenarios resulting from the DuraCrete research project, to understand if the evolution of climate change leads to worse scenarios than those previously assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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23 pages, 12762 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Investigation on Steel Jacketing Retrofitting of Concrete Bridges Half-Joints
by Gabriele Bertagnoli, Mario Ferrara, Luca Giordano and Marzia Malavisi
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(14), 8181; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13148181 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
An innovative strengthening system for dapped-end beams is studied numerically and experimentally in this paper. The system is developed for the half-joint regions of bridge beams also commonly called “gerber saddles”, but it can be adapted to different scenarios. The strengthening system consists [...] Read more.
An innovative strengthening system for dapped-end beams is studied numerically and experimentally in this paper. The system is developed for the half-joint regions of bridge beams also commonly called “gerber saddles”, but it can be adapted to different scenarios. The strengthening system consists of two steel plates that are clamped on both sides of the webs of the beams by means of bolts. The purpose of the system is to transfer the highest possible amount of shear from the concrete webs to the steel plate elements reducing the resistance demand of the concrete half joint. Shear is transferred by friction from concrete to steel plates. The system is designed to be applied on existing bridges without heavy work interesting the carriageway, therefore reducing the interference with the traffic. Some interesting considerations emerge from the study, including the influence of the flange web connection on the structural behavior and the possible presence of brittle failure mechanisms that are difficult to model numerically using f.e.m. simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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13 pages, 5285 KiB  
Article
A Methodological Framework for Bridge Surveillance
by Luigi Petti, Carmine Lupo and Constanza Maria De Gaetano
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 4975; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13084975 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
The Italian “Guidelines for risk classification and management, security assessment and monitoring of existing bridges”, published in 2020 after the collapse of the Polcevera viaduct in Northern Italy, present a multilevel methodology that involves on-site operators and universities/research centers carrying out and validating [...] Read more.
The Italian “Guidelines for risk classification and management, security assessment and monitoring of existing bridges”, published in 2020 after the collapse of the Polcevera viaduct in Northern Italy, present a multilevel methodology that involves on-site operators and universities/research centers carrying out and validating a management process from on-site survey to the bridges’ condition assessment. The main goals of this process are to acquire appropriate knowledge of the current state and its evolution over time of the overall buildings that compose the infrastructures, with the aim to support the managing companies in a decision-making process and the purpose of guaranteeing service in full safety. In particular, the guidelines propose the use of engineered software platforms for data digitalization of the structures with the aim to create a Building Management System (BMS) in which the main historical and current state information is collected and can then be uploaded continually. In 2020, the CUGRI (Inter-University Research Center for the Prediction and Prevention of Major Hazards) and the SAM (Southern Highways Company) launched an innovative surveillance management model established on a multidisciplinary approach based on Geography Markup Language (GML), BIM tools, on-site interdisciplinary inspections, and multi-hazard analysis. The experimented methodology provides the on-site training of inspectors, the elaboration of suitable BIM models according to the above guidelines, and AINOP (National Archive of Public Infrastructures) requirements, and an expert judgement process for preliminary bridge assessment and data validation to support the maintenance managing process. The study presents an innovative operative model for the surveillance process, which integrates on-site expeditious inspections and multidisciplinary expert judgements by using an appropriate digitalization of the bridges with BIM and GIS technologies. The paper illustrates the experimental methodology performed on the A3 highway, which connects Naples to Salerno in Southern Italy, highlighting issues and opportunities, moreover in a first interdisciplinary contribution of object-oriented landslide mapping modelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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16 pages, 9902 KiB  
Article
Inspection and Structural Rehabilitation of an Existing Masonry Arch Railway Bridge
by Francesco Bencardino, Roberta Curto and Vincenzo Scavelli
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 2973; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13052973 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
Masonry arch bridges are important structures of road and rail networks around the world. Over several decades of service life, they suffer deterioration and damage. In order to preserve their functioning, it is necessary to carry out a seismic vulnerability analysis to verify [...] Read more.
Masonry arch bridges are important structures of road and rail networks around the world. Over several decades of service life, they suffer deterioration and damage. In order to preserve their functioning, it is necessary to carry out a seismic vulnerability analysis to verify the current level of safety and, if necessary, take action to reach the standard required by current codes. For these reasons, a structural analysis of the existing railway bridge built with masonry arches, located on the San Nicola–Avigliano Lucania line in Potenza, Italy, was carried out. The seismic vulnerability of the bridge was assessed using the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) method by subjecting a properly discretized three-dimensional model of the entire structure to a non-adaptive nonlinear static analysis (pushover). The obtained results do not meet the minimums suggested by current European Standards. Therefore, a traditional structural rehabilitation intervention was designed and modeled. The intrados of the arches and the bridge piers were reinforced with a thin reinforced concrete slab and reinforced concrete jackets, respectively, all connected to the existing structure by steel bar connectors. By re-performing the pushover analysis of the reinforced structure using FEA software, it was observed that the new risk indexes satisfy the seismic vulnerability verification. Thus, the proposed structural rehabilitation is a valid, but not unique, solution to the problem affecting the existing masonry arch bridge analyzed in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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22 pages, 11865 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale Experimental Static Testing on 50-Year-Old Prestressed Concrete Bridge Girders
by Pierclaudio Savino, Francesco Tondolo, Donato Sabia, Antonino Quattrone, Fabio Biondini, Gianpaolo Rosati, Mattia Anghileri and Bernardino Chiaia
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13020834 - 7 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
The heritage of existing road infrastructures and in particular of bridges consists of structures that are approaching or exceeding their designed service life. Detrimental causes such as aging, fatigue and deterioration processes other than variation in loading conditions introduce uncertainties that make structural [...] Read more.
The heritage of existing road infrastructures and in particular of bridges consists of structures that are approaching or exceeding their designed service life. Detrimental causes such as aging, fatigue and deterioration processes other than variation in loading conditions introduce uncertainties that make structural assessment a challenging task. Experimental data on their performances are crucial for a proper calibration of numerical models able to predict their behavior and life-cycle structural performance. In this scenario, an experimental research program was established with the aim of investigating a set of 50-year-old prestressed concrete bridge girders that were recovered from a decommissioned bridge. The activities included initial non-destructive tests, and then full-scale load tests followed by a destructive test on the material samples. This paper reports the experimental results of the full-scale tests conducted on the first group of four I-beams assumed to be in good condition from visual inspection at the time of testing. Loading tests were performed using a specifically designed steel reaction frame and a test setup equipment, as detailed in the present work. Due to the structural response of this first group of girders, a uniform behavior was found at both service and ultimate conditions. The failure mechanism was characterized by the crushing of the cast-in-situ top slab corresponding to a limited deflection, highlighting a non-ductile behavior. The outcomes of the experimental research are expected to provide new data for the life-cycle safety assessment of existing bridges through an extended database of validated experimental tests and models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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18 pages, 6680 KiB  
Article
Repair of Damaged Continuity Joints Using Ultra-High Performance, Fiber Reinforced Self-Consolidating, and Magnesium–Aluminum–Liquid–Phosphate Concretes
by Trevor Looney, Michael Mesigh, Jeffery Volz and Royce Floyd
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(24), 12775; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122412775 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Bridge elements known to develop damage over time are individual continuity joints connecting girders. Replacing damaged joints is an expensive and invasive process and a need exists to design a less invasive repair method. This study focused on evaluating an encapsulation repair method [...] Read more.
Bridge elements known to develop damage over time are individual continuity joints connecting girders. Replacing damaged joints is an expensive and invasive process and a need exists to design a less invasive repair method. This study focused on evaluating an encapsulation repair method for continuity joints that would not require extensive demolition of the bridge deck to implement and could potentially be constructed without bridge closure. Approximately half scale connected bridge girder specimens were constructed and purposely damaged to create similar crack patterns to those seen in bridges. Once damaged, a set of three specimens was repaired using the encapsulation method with three different high performance materials, ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), fiber reinforced self-consolidating concrete (FRSCC), and magnesium–aluminum–liquid–phosphate (MALP) concrete. Of the three repaired specimens for each material, one was tested in positive moment bending and two in negative moment bending, similar to in situ conditions. The results appear to indicate that using each of the tested materials as an encapsulation repair for damaged continuity joints is viable to re-establish continuity and load capacity. However, the UHPC repairs’ resistance to cracking could indicate the best performance by further protecting the continuity joint reinforcing steel from water ingress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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18 pages, 5824 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Influence of Shear on the Seismic Response of Bridge Columns
by Rico J. Massa, William D. Cook and Denis Mitchell
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(21), 10910; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122110910 - 27 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1408
Abstract
In the seismic design and evaluation of bridges, a method is required for determining the shear strength of reinforced concrete columns to avoid brittle shear failures. In addition, detailed design and evaluation often require predictions of the complete hysteretic response of bridge columns [...] Read more.
In the seismic design and evaluation of bridges, a method is required for determining the shear strength of reinforced concrete columns to avoid brittle shear failures. In addition, detailed design and evaluation often require predictions of the complete hysteretic response of bridge columns to accurately model the nonlinear dynamic response of the bridge. Predictions of the shear strength of columns using the provisions of the AASHTO Specifications are compared with the reversed-cyclic loading test results of shear-critical columns. It is found that the Simplified Procedure results in very conservative predictions of the seismic shear strength. The General Procedure provides conservative and more accurate predictions of the seismic shear strength. It is suggested that the AASHTO reduction factor on the concrete contribution resisting shear for low compressive axial load levels be removed. Nonlinear finite element analysis predictions are made for a selection of rectangular and circular columns tested in reversed-cyclic loading and are compared with the experimental results. The ability of nonlinear finite element analysis to predict the reversed-cyclic loading responses of columns with a wide range of variables and having different failure modes is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing Bridges: From Inspection to Structural Rehabilitation)
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