Bridge accessories and structural performance: climate-change proof design

Greco, Danilo and Moscatelli, Alessandro and Briccola, Deborah (2023) Bridge accessories and structural performance: climate-change proof design. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management (IABMAS 2024. Copenhagen, Denmark, 24-28 June 2024) UNSPECIFIED. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Structural bearings and bridge expansion joints are accessories requiring an accurate design, inspection, and maintenance, as their malfunctioning can cause a bridge to depart from its expected behavior and their replacement is a costly activity due to passenger and freight traffic interruption. Because of their exposure to water, deicing agents, and silt, they experience a high level of wearing that limits their serviceability far beneath the warranty period ensured by manufacturers. Climate change exacerbates this trend: storms and hail increase the volume of bridge deck water runoff and cause clogging of expansion joints due to the accumulation of grit and gravel and severe damage to bearings, leading to restrained movements. That causes the onset of distress in structural elements and triggers further damage. A study on the impact of restrained movements at increased temperatures according to Tessin climate change scenarios in 2085 for RCP8.5 has been carried out.

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