STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF OLD STONE ARCH BRIDGES

The use of stone arches for bridge construction has generally ceased, but since these structures still exist in modern road systems, their structural integrity is of current concern. This paper presents an analysis technique suited for the thick jointed heritage stone arch bridges found in Canada. The effect of increased mortar joint size on structural response is investigted. The response of a section to eccentric thrust is postulated and the effective section properties are derived. Structural behavior proceeds from a fixed arch to a 2-hinge, a 3-hinge, and finaly a 5-hinge failure mode for a symmetrical arch with midspan loading. A typicl load-deflection curve is developed, suitably adjusted for secondary effects due to changes in geometry and material nonlinearity. Stone arch bridges in Canada were constructed with thick mortar joints, which exhibit significant deterioration of stiffness with load eccentricity and, therefore, significant secondary effects; as thickness increases, ultimate strength decreases. A suitable limit states prediction for the load capacity of old stone arches is proposed.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Research Council of Canada

    Research Journals
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6,   Canada 
  • Authors:
    • McNeely, D K
    • Archer, G C
    • Smith, K N
  • Publication Date: 1989-12

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  • Accession Number: 00492245
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1990 12:00AM