Assessing flooding impact to riverine bridges: an integrated analysis

Maria Pregnolato*, Andrew O. Winter, Dakota Mascarenas, Andrew D. Sen, Paul Bates, Michael R. Motley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Flood events are the most frequent cause of damage to infrastructure compared to any other natural hazard, and global changes (climate, socioeconomic, technological) are likely to increase this damage. Transportation infrastructure systems are responsible for moving people, goods and services, and ensuring connection within and among urban areas. A failed link in these systems can impact the community by threatening evacuation capability, recovery operations and the overall economy. Bridges are critical links in the wider urban system since they are associated with little redundancy and a high (re)construction cost. Riverine bridges are particularly prone to failure during flood events; in fact, the risks to bridges from high river flows and erosion have been recognized as crucial at global level. The interaction of flow, structure and network is complex, and not fully understood. This study aims to establish a rigorous, multiphysics modeling approach for the assessment of the hydrodynamic forces impacting inundated bridges, and the subsequent structural response, while understanding the consequences of such impact on the surrounding network. The objectives of this study are to model hydrodynamic forces as demand on the bridge structure, to advance a performance evaluation of the structure under the modeled loading, and to assess the overall impact at systemic level. The flood-prone city of Carlisle (UK) is used as a case study and a proof of concept. Implications of the hydrodynamic impact on the performance and functionality of the surrounding transport network are discussed. This research will help to fill the gap between current guidance for design and assessment of bridges within the overall transport system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1576
Number of pages18
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support. Maria Pregnolato has been supported by the

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Maria Pregnolato et al.


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