oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Risk analysis of bridge structures over rivers in South Africa

Volume 30, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The damaging effects of recent floods on bridges in South Africa has resulted in a reassessment of design procedures. The statistical and deterministic methods of flood peak determination appear to be Inadequate. Recent research by hydrologists indicates that an empirical approach may be more reliable. Furthermore, sensitivity studies of the resistance of bridge structures to peak floods with very low probabilities at exceedance may be preferable to applying a load factor to the effects of maximum floods with a return period equal to the usefull life of the bridge. Reliability theory and risk analysis, although difficult to any in practice, can give useful insights into methods of optimizing the design and reducing the sensitivity of bridge structure to the effects of the exceedance of design floods.

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