Nothing-on-Road Axle Detection Strategies in Bridge-Weigh-in-Motion for a Cable-Stayed Bridge: Case Study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Bridge Engineering, 2018, 23 (8)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers. This case-study article aims to share the field-test observations of a real-world cable-stayed bridge with the research community of bridge-weigh-in-motion to address the challenges of axle identification. Various structural members of the bridge, including cables, girders, and the deck, were instrumented with strain gauges at different locations to measure the axial, bending, or shear strain responses. Numerous field tests were conducted by running light and heavy vehicles traveling at different speeds, in different traffic directions, and in different lateral locations on the bridge. Because the identification of closely spaced axles is important to ensuring true classification of the vehicles, vehicles with tandem- and tridem-axle configurations were adopted in the field test. The study aimed to identify the sensor arrangement through which the closely spaced axles can be reliably detected regardless of the speed, traveling direction, and lateral location of the vehicle on the bridge. It was found that the axial strains on the cables and bending strains in the girders provided the global response of the structure; hence, they were unable to identify the closely spaced axles. In contrast, it was observed that the longitudinal strains under the deck were able to identify the closely spaced axles, provided they were positioned as closely as possible to the wheel path. Finally, the shear responses at the end of the span were able to identify the closely spaced axles irrespective of the traveling direction and lateral location of the vehicle. In this study, due to the testing limitations, including the short span of the bridge and the presence of a roundabout at one end of the bridge, it was not feasible to maintain a constant speed; therefore, identification of axle weight and axle spacing, which requires a constant-speed assumption, is not discussed.
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