Dynamic testing and numerical modelling of a pedestrian timber bridge at different construction stages

Timber serves as a pivotal construction material for a sustainable future due to its local availability, reducing transport and construction times. However, lightweight timber bridges, particularly pedestrian ones, can be susceptible to vibrations, especially when pedestrian frequencies align with the bridge’s natural frequency. European standards necessitate dynamic analyses for bridges with certain natural frequencies to maintain comfort. While damping ratios for timber bridges are generally conservative, multiple factors, such as asphalt layers or elastomers at supports, can alter them. Prior research has explored the dynamic properties of such bridges using finite element models, emphasizing the importance of accurate modeling of construction element connections. Adding asphalt can increase damping and decrease natural frequencies, with temperature affecting these properties. This study focuses on a bridge in Växjö, Sweden, testing it at various construction stages and comparing experimental results with calibrated finite element models to enhance understanding and modeling accuracy for pedestrian timber bridges.