Background and activities

Vehicle-Bridge Interaction

Bridges built over wide fjord crossings (2,000 to 5,500m) will serve as critical structures for Norway’s new E39 coastal highway. An important capability for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) is the evaluation of the level of accident risk for motor vehicles on cable-stayed and floating bridges during high velocity wind events. The goal is to maintain unrestricted travel whilst ensuring the safety and comfort of bridge users. The aim of Sebastian's work is the development of an experimentally validated computational model of the vehicle-bridge-driver system. This will provide the NPRA with a scientific basis from which to decide when bridges should be closed and when speed limits might need to be reduced. It also gives additional insight into which bridge design parameters most influence the safety and comfort of motorists. Existing field data from bridges and vehicles will be examined and used to inform the design of a new field experiment to validate the fully coupled system model. This should result in the cost-effective modelling and field validation of a coupled vehicle-bridge-driver system using one of Norway’s existing long-span bridges as a test case.

Key Objectives

  • Perform coupled vehicle-bridge-driver dynamic simulations on long-span bridges under severe environmental conditions.
  • Simulate the critical case of a vehicle experiencing a sudden wind gust after passing bridge towers and/or oncoming traffic.
  • Evaluate the use of safety measures such as reduced speed limits and/or the introduction of full or partial wind barriers to avoid bridge closures.
  • Investigate recorded short and sudden severe events such as large horizontal motion from the Hardanger Bridge and possibly the Bergsøysund Bridge.
  • Full-scale experiments: vehicle instrumentation, recorded bridge measurements from extreme events and model validation.

Research Group

Structural Dynamics


Professor Anders Rönnquist

Professor Ole Øiseth

Associate Professor Lars Drugge

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Journal publications