This research report proposes a new vehicle loading standard for the design and evaluation of road bridges and other highway infrastructure in New Zealand. It is based upon a literature review of current traffic loading and bridge evaluation specifications in New Zealand and overseas, as well as a review of studies into the economic aspects of bridge design loadings and the economic benefits of increasing the mass limits of heavy vehicles in Australia and New Zealand.
The development of a new design loading standard took into consideration the future freight need and likely configuration of vehicles to meet that need, as well as analysing the loading from current traffic. Weigh-in-motion data, responses to an industry questionnaire on desired vehicle configurations, loading effects from a range of legally loaded vehicles, permit application vehicles and mobile cranes were all considered in determining the recommended design vehicle loading standard.
New evaluation loading standards are recommended for Class 1 and HPMV vehicle loading.
The report also includes recommendations on axle and wheel loading, lane widths and number of lanes, multiple presence, dynamic load allowance, horizontal loads and load factors.