Viaduct Vilvoorde, one of Belgium’s iconic bridges, is part of the Ring around Brussels (R0) and it is located on the territory of the Vilvoorde and Machelen municipalities. A ‘Viaduct Vilvoorde’ assignment is currently underway on behalf of De Werkvennootschap, which consists of the following parts:
The goal is to reinforce the engineering structure to achieve a lifespan until 2078 and to provide an additional lane (in both directions). SBE was awarded the independent consulting assignment by De Werkvennootschap within the framework of this project to assist De Werkvennootschap in this project.
SBE has been implementing the Framework Agreement for technical assistance under the ‘Viaduct Vilvoorde’ Design & Build assignment of De Werkvennootschap NV since March 2021. SBE uses the following subcontractors for this assignment: MINT, Royal Haskoning DHV, Sanacon and UGent.
The assignment involves consultancy and assistance in terms of implementation of the study activities, as well as remediation and reinforcement works.
The viaduct was built in 1976. The outer ring, the north section, and inner ring, the south section, are separate and independent of each other.
Both have a width of 20 m and are composed of four different viaduct sections with a combined length of about 1,700 m:
SBE conducted a study in 2018 to assess fatigue issues at Viaduct Vilvoorde and other similar engineering structures. SBE used EE software Ansys for this purpose, among others, and a post-processing tool that was developed in-house. The road surface was analyzed under various time- and temperature-dependent parameters to be considered, e.g. temperature-dependent load distribution of the asphalt layers and time-dependent traffic simulations.
An understanding of the arithmetic (residual) lifespan of the orthotropic deck and its connections of the brackets and cross beams to the body of the box girder was obtained from this study. Details in the driving deck were found to be over their arithmetic limit, for example. Based on these results, targeted follow-up steps could be proposed and implemented to improve the condition.
In addition to this study of the arithmetic (residual) lifespan of the orthotropic deck, all viaduct sections (superstructures and substructures) had to be studied in accordance with current standards and requirements.
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