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Shock and Vibration
Volume 7 (2000), Issue 6, Pages 399-412

A Highly Accurate and Efficient Analytical Approach to Bridge Deck Free Vibration Analysis

D.J. Gorman1 and L. Garibaldi2

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ottawa, 770 King Edward Avenue, Ottawa, Canada
2Dipartimento di Meccanico, Politecnico di Torin, Torino, Italy

Received 16 May 2000; Revised 12 September 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The superposition method is employed to obtain an accurate analytical type solution for the free vibration frequencies and mode shapes of multi-span bridge decks. Free edge conditions are imposed on the long edges running in the direction of the deck. Inter-span support is of the simple (knife-edge) type. The analysis is valid regardless of the number of spans or their individual lengths. Exact agreement is found when computed results are compared with known eigenvalues for bridge decks with all spans of equal length. Mode shapes and eigenvalues are presented for typical bridge decks of three and four span lengths. In each case torsional and non-torsional modes are studied.