Performance of a Prestressed Concrete Pedestrian Bridge System under Equivalent Static Lateral Impact Loads

Baran, Eray
Schultz, Arturo
French, Catherine
The resistance of prestressed concrete through-girder (PCTG) pedestrian bridges to lateral loads was studied in response to the increasing number of vehicular impacts in the United States. This research was motivated by the lack of reported studies analyzing the behavior of such bridges to lateral impact loads, as well as their potential vulnerability in comparison with bridges that are better able to redistribute and transfer locally applied impact loads through alternate load paths. Pedestrian bridges are of lighter construction than highway bridges and they do not have the high degree of redundancy, making them more vulnerable to collapse in the event of vehicular impact. Results from static lateral load analyses using three-dimensional, geometrically nonlinear, full-scale finite element (FE) models of a typical bridge system and bridge subassemblages were used to evaluate the characteristics of the system. The FE models were calibrated with experimental test data on typical subassemblages and connection details for PCTG bridges. Results of the experimental part of the program have already been published elsewhere. This paper summarizes the observations obtained from nonlinear static FE analyses of a PCTG pedestrian bridge system subjected to lateral impact loads. The analyses indicated that the location of impact, the type of connector, and the flexibility of the end support details affected bridge performance. Improved connection details are suggested for enhanced PCTG pedestrian bridge performance.

Citation Formats
E. Baran, A. Schultz, and C. French, “Performance of a Prestressed Concrete Pedestrian Bridge System under Equivalent Static Lateral Impact Loads,” Journal Of Performance Of Constructed Facilities, vol. 27, pp. 450–459, 2013, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: