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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 1917629, 26 pages
Research Article

Deterministic and Probabilistic Serviceability Assessment of Footbridge Vibrations due to a Single Walker Crossing

1College of Civil Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China
2DICDEA, Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via Roma 9, 81031 Aversa, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Alberto Maria Avossa

Received 9 July 2017; Revised 5 September 2017; Accepted 12 November 2017; Published 17 January 2018

Academic Editor: Hugo Rodrigues

Copyright © 2018 Cristoforo Demartino et al. 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.


This paper presents a numerical study on the deterministic and probabilistic serviceability assessment of footbridge vibrations due to a single walker crossing. The dynamic response of the footbridge is analyzed by means of modal analysis, considering only the first lateral and vertical modes. Single span footbridges with uniform mass distribution are considered, with different values of the span length, natural frequencies, mass, and structural damping and with different support conditions. The load induced by a single walker crossing the footbridge is modeled as a moving sinusoidal force either in the lateral or in the vertical direction. The variability of the characteristics of the load induced by walkers is modeled using probability distributions taken from the literature defining a Standard Population of walkers. Deterministic and probabilistic approaches were adopted to assess the peak response. Based on the results of the simulations, deterministic and probabilistic vibration serviceability assessment methods are proposed, not requiring numerical analyses. Finally, an example of the application of the proposed method to a truss steel footbridge is presented. The results highlight the advantages of the probabilistic procedure in terms of reliability quantification.