Localized irregularities in the road profile are a well-known and persistent cause of rider discomfort when entering and exiting many bridges. This work addresses this so called “bump at the end of the bridge” problem first, through a review of relevant literature focusing on causes of the bump problem, mitigation techniques, retrofitting techniques, and special bump problems related to integral abutment bridges. Then, recognizing that approach slabs play a crucial role in the development of the bump, this problem is addressed through an investigation and comparison of approach slab designs and details utilized by various states. And, finally, the “bump at the end of the bridge” problem is addressed through dynamic analyses to ascertain the impact that various parameters of the bump geometry, road conditions, and vehicle speed have on rider discomfort. The results of the dynamic analyses indicate that the slope of the approach slab (i.e., the bump) and vehicle speed have the biggest impact on rider discomfort. Recommendations for future research are also noted.
Short, T. H., Wierschem, N. E., Denavit, M. D., and Bennett, R. M. (2018). Bump at the End of the Bridge: Review and Analysis of Rider Discomfort. Civil and Environmental Engineering Report Series, Report No. 1, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee.