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Influence of the span rise ratio on the capacity of masonry arch bridges

Donaghy, J; Wang, J; Augusthus Nelson, L


J Donaghy

J Wang


Current standards promote a holistic approach in appraisal of masonry arch bridges. This is derived from the aspect of a perfect arch with specific span rise ratios. The MEXE (Military Engineering Experimental Establishment) method used as first stage assessment of masonry arch bridges in the United Kingdom sets the default span rise ratio at 4.0 with a standard independent factor applied to account for different span rise ratios. The accuracy is questionable as it does not account for the influence of different parameters. This paper aims to investigate a more precise method to account for the span rise ratio. A parametric study of Pippard’s equation was conducted, analysing the effect on the span rise ratio. An Excel model was designed to undertake large data analysis for different span rise ratios. This confirmed inaccuracy in the MEXE method allowing an increase in capacity by 40% for specific conditions.


Donaghy, J., Wang, J., & Augusthus Nelson, L. (2014, July). Influence of the span rise ratio on the capacity of masonry arch bridges. Presented at 9th International Masonry Conference, Guimarães, Portugal

Presentation Conference Type Other
Conference Name 9th International Masonry Conference
Conference Location Guimarães, Portugal
Start Date Jul 7, 2014
End Date Jul 9, 2014
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2023
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2015
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Additional Information Event Type : Conference