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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 75, Number 2, July 2020, pages 271-282

Minimum cost strengthening of existing masonry arch railway bridges
Amin Rafiee

    The preservation of historic masonry-arch railway bridges is of paramount importance due to their economic benefits. These bridges which belong to past centuries may nowadays be expected to carry loads higher than those for which they were designed. Such an increase in loads may be because of increase in transportation speed or in the capacity of freight-wagons. Anyway, adequate increase in their load-carrying-capacity through structural-strengthening is required. Moreover, the increasing costs of material/construction urge engineers to optimize their designs to obtain the minimum-cost one. This paper proposes a novel numerical optimization method to minimize the costs associated with strengthening of masonry-arch railway bridges. To do so, the stress/displacement responses of Sahand-Goltappeh bridge are assessed under ordinary train pass as a case study. For this aim, 3D-Finite-Element-Model is created and calibrated using experimental test results. Then, it is strengthened such that following goals are achieved simultaneously: (1) the load-carrying-capacity of the bridge is increased; (2) the structural response of the bridge is reduced to a certain limit; and, (3) the costs needed for such strengthening are minimized as far as possible. The results of the case study demonstrate the applicability/superiority of the proposed approach. Some economic measures are also recommended to further reduce the total strengthening cost.
Key Words
    numerical optimization; arch bridge; cost minimization; railway network; structural strengthening; train speed
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran

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