Seismic vulnerbility analysis of Bankstown's West Terrace railway bridge

  • Mirza, Olivia (School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, Western Sydney University) ;
  • Kaewunruen, Sakdirat (Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, School of Civil Engineering, the University of Birmingham) ;
  • Galia, Darren (Marten and Associate)
  • Received : 2015.10.02
  • Accepted : 2016.01.11
  • Published : 2016.02.10


This paper highlights a case study that investigates the behaviour of existing bridge, West Terrace Bridge, induced by horizontal seismic loading. Unfortunately the lack of past information related to seismic activity within the NSW region has made it difficult to understand better the capacity of the structure if Earthquake occurs. The research was conducted through the University of Western Sydney in conjunction with Railcorp Australia, as part of disaster reduction preparedness program. The focus of seismic analyses was on the assessment of stress behaviour, induced by cyclic horizontal/vertical displacements, within the concrete slab and steel truss of the bridge under various Earthquake Year Return Intervals (YRI) of 1-100, 1-200, 1-250, 1-500, 1-800, 1-1000, 1-1500, 1-2000 and 1-2500. Furthermore the stresses and displacements were rigorously analysed through a parametric study conducted using different boundary conditions. The numerical analysis of the concrete slab and steel truss were performed through the finite element software, ABAQUS. The field measurements and observation had been used to validate the results drawn from the finite element simulation. It was illustrated that under a YRI of 1/1000 the bottom chord of the steel truss failed as the stress induced surpassed the ultimate stress capacity and the horizontal displacement exceeded the allowable displacement measured in the field observations whereas the vertical displacement remained within the previously observed limitations. Furthermore the parametric studies in this paper demonstrate that a change in boundary conditions alleviated the stress distribution throughout the structure allowing it to withstand a greater load induced by the earthquake YRI but ultimately failed when the maximum earthquake loading was applied. Therefore it was recommended to provide a gap of 50mm on the end of the concrete slab to allow the structure to displace without increasing the stress in the structure. Finally, this study has proposed a design chart to showcase the failure mode of the bridge when subjected to seismic loading.



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