Arch bridges are structures that can – in some cases – possess enormous load reserves. Attempts to quantify these reserves with purely mathematical means rarely lead to realistic results – especially when a structure already exhibits damages. The current load yield (and therefore the impact of the damages) is often unknown. In accord with our client we decided to utilise a hybrid approach: We measured the major reactions of the structure while experimentally applying typical work loads. Afterwards we used 2- and 3-dimensional FE-models to prove structural safety.
We applied this procedure to the following bridges: