Characterization of heavy traffic on the Swedish road network

One of the key parameters in predicting the deterioration process of pavement structures is linked to the heavy traffic characteristics. The heavy traffic loading has been commonly expressed in pavement design methods through an equivalent number of repetitions of standard axle loads (ESAL’s). Recent pavement distress models, used in new mechanistic pavement design methods, require more detailed description of the heavy traffic. In Sweden, a Bridge Weigh-In-Motion (BWIM) system has been used to collect information about the heavy traffic on the road network. The system provides information about the vehicles’ time of passing, speed and lane, the number of axles and their configurations and weights. A national BWIM network was established in 2004, consisting of twelve locations which are measured during one week every year. The network consists of motorways, arterials or trunk roads as well as one county road. This, therefore, provides a basis to establish an Axle Load Spectra (ALS) which gives the load distribution of steering axles, other single axles, tandem and tridem axles. As very few quad axles are registered they have been neglected.

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