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Humber Bridge Performance Sensitivity to Bearing Behaviour

Humber Bridge is the fifth longest single-span bridge in the world, built in 1981, with main span of 1410 m and total length 2220 m. Currently a structural health monitoring (SHM) system is operating to help operators to identify any changes in structural performance and inform maintenance options. SHM in Humber Bridge also uses finite element model to help in understanding the experimental data which will help to understand the bridge behaviour. This FEM needs to be validated against prior experimental observations of dynamic performance. By comparing FEM and SHM data it is possible to study the effect on performance of a long suspension bridge like Humber of the behaviour of boundary conditions. Hence it’s possible to show if bridge behaviour has changed in time or if there is a problem with bearings triggering intervention. This paper describes the modelling processes of Humber Bridge using ANSYS software, using equivalent box section, and also describes the process of adjusting the model to represent observed behaviour.

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