Load Rating Versus Reliability Analysis

The most common approach to assess the safety of a bridge is load rating. However, this approach cannot quantify the bridge safety in probabilistic terms or fully quantify the structural risk to the bridge. Reliability methods have become an increasingly popular and gradually accepted approach to assess the safety of structures. These methods account for the randomness and correlation of all relevant variables and failure modes in the analysis. This study performs both a load rating analysis and a reliability analysis on the same highway bridge, compares the results, and discusses the strengths and limitations of each approach. The load rating analysis was conducted on a Colorado highway bridge located in the Denver metropolitan area. The authors conclude that load ratings are a reasonable deterministic approach to determining the strength and allowable load on a bridge. A reliability analysis overcomes all the listed limitations of the load rating approach and produces a consistent level of safety for various failure modes.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Estes, Allen C
    • Frangopol, Dan M
  • Publication Date: 2005-5


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01000388
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 24 2005 7:46AM