Abstract: An objective of the European Commission 5th Framework Research project, Samaris, is to determine the bridge repair needs of new and possible future member states of the European Union (EU). This paper reports the findings of a study into the differences in bridge traffic loading between such countries and long-standing EU member states. A comparison is made of bridge traffic loading for two-lane short- to medium-length bridges in two countries deemed to be representative: Slovenia and the Netherlands. Truck classification and weight data from weigh-in-motion sites in each country are used in conjunction with other European data in a wide range of simulations to assess the implications of the differences for bridge assessments. Significant differences are identified between countries, both in the truck volumes and in the statistical distributions of truck weight. The implications for a range of bridge load effects are calculated and compared to the characteristic load effects implied by the Eurocode. Country- or network-specific bridge assessment load models are recommended to reflect the significant differences in traffic between European regions.
Keywords: Bridge, Load, Assessment, Traffic, Simulation, Statistics, Extreme value