Modeling Spatially Unrestricted Pedestrian Traffic on Footbridges

Stana Zivanovic, Aleksandar Pavic, Einar Thór Ingólfsson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The research into modelling walking-induced dynamic loading and its effects on footbridge structures and people using them has been intensified in the last decade after some high profile vibration serviceability failures. In particular, the crowd induced loading, characterised by spatially restricted movement of pedestrians, has kept attracting attention of researchers. However, it is the normal spatially unrestricted pedestrian traffic, and its vertical dynamic loading component, that are most relevant for vibration serviceability checks for most footbridges. Despite the existence of numerous design procedures concerned with this loading, the current confidence in its modelling is low due to lack of verification of the models on as-built structures. This is the motivation behind reviewing the existing design procedures for modelling normal pedestrian traffic in this paper and evaluating their performance against the experimental data acquired on two as-built footbridges. Additionally, the use of Monte Carlo simulations is also investigated. Possible factors that cause discrepancies between measured and calculated vibration responses, including possibility of existence of pedestrian-structure dynamic interaction, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1296-1308
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • human-structure interaction
  • footbridge
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • vibration serviceability
  • spatially unrestricted pedestrian traffic

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