Sustainable Bridges – A European Integrated Research Project – Background Overview and Results

Björn Täljsten (Invited author), Lennart Elfgren (Invited author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    At present we have great challenges as inhabitants of the Earth. We are living in a society with, in comparison, cheap fossil energy and an expanding urban population. This exerts high demands on the infrastructure in the form of railways, roads and buildings. However, we do not know if energy will be available in the same way in the future as it has been in the past. And the present situation is not promising. At the same time climate seems to be changing and becoming more unstable and unreliable and become more difficult to predict. This is likely to some extent dependent due to the expanding human use of energy and release of greenhouse gases. To help our society to be more sustainable, it is important to retain and use what we already have where possible, rather than investing in new structures. Instead of tearing down old, often beautiful, railway bridges and replacing them with new ones, we need to preserve and upgrade them by using better assessment, monitoring and strengthening methods. This was also the aim of the European Integrated Research Project “Sustainable Bridges – Assessment for Future Traffic Demands and Longer Lives” when it was accepted for funding by the European Commission in 2003. The project established the following three specific goals: 1. increase the transport capacity of existing railway bridges by allowing higher axle loads (up to 33 tons) for freight traffic at moderate speeds or by allowing higher speeds (up to 350 km/hour) for passenger traffic with low axle loads 2. extend the residual service lives of existing bridges by up to 25% 3. enhance management, repair and strengthening systems The project started in December 2003 and was finished in the end of 2007. A consortium consisting of 32 partners drawn from railway undertakings, consultants, contractors, research institutes and universities has carried out the project, which had a gross budget of more than 10 million Euros (16 million US$).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe 5. International conference on Advanced Composite Materials in Bridges and Structures
    PublisherCanadian Society for Civil Engineering
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventInternational Conference on Advanced Composite materials in Bridges and Structures - Winnipeg, Canada, 22-24th of September
    Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …
    Conference number: 5


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Advanced Composite materials in Bridges and Structures
    CityWinnipeg, Canada, 22-24th of September
    Period01/01/2008 → …


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