Assessment of masonry arch bridges

Thomas Harrewijn*, Rob Vergoossen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper is about the assessment of masonry arch bridges in the Netherlands. A large part of the public road network in old city centres is still formed by masonry arch bridges. The general question of the local authorities is “can masonry arch bridges withstand motorised traffic including busses and occasionally heavy trucks?” Nonlinear finite element analysis in PLAXIS is applied for the assessment of the failure behaviour of the structure and its limits related to cracking and failure loading. A proof-loading of a real bridge increased the reliability of the calculation methodology. To assess a large group of single span masonry arch bridges, suggestions for a risk-based approach are made.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIABSE Symposium Prague, 2022
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures - Report
PublisherInternational Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-385748183-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventIABSE Symposium Prague 2022: Challenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 25 May 202227 May 2022

Publication series

NameIABSE Symposium Prague, 2022: Challenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures - Report


ConferenceIABSE Symposium Prague 2022: Challenges for Existing and Oncoming Structures
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • assessment
  • Masonry arch bridge
  • Proof-loading
  • residual lifetime


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