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Pircher M.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Wagner J.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Lechner B.,Kompetenzzentrum Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Kammersberger A.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Life-Cycle and Sustainability of Civil Infrastructure Systems - Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2012 | Year: 2012

An investigation of the damage caused by road traffic was performed on a reinforced concrete bridge called the Weizbach Bridge in the province of Styria in Austria. This study was undertaken with a focus on the determination of the damage induced by heavy vehicles in relation to the damage caused by average everyday traffic. A damage model based on fatigue of reinforcement bars was employed. Heavy traffic was shown to cause a disproportionate high portion of the overall damage on this bridge. The Weizbach Bridge is a three-span span reinforced structure constructed in 1969 with spans of 10+20+10m and a double-Tee cross-section carrying two lanes. This bridge is due for rehabilitation in mid-2012, two years after completion of the described study. The rehabilitation brief had several objectives, one of them being the reduction of ongoing accumulating damage due to heavy traffic. The present paper reports on the findings of the damage study as well as the proposed measures to reduce traffic-related damage after rehabilitation. Source


Wolf R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Wolf R.,University of Calgary | Orsel K.,University of Calgary | De Buck J.,University of Calgary | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2016

Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne's disease, a production-limiting disease in cattle. Detection of infected herds is often done using environmental samples (ES) of manure, which are collected in cattle pens and manure storage areas. Disadvantages of the method are that sample accuracy is affected by cattle housing and type of manure storage area. Furthermore, some sampling locations (e.g., manure lagoons) are frequently not readily accessible. However, sampling socks (SO), as used for Salmonella spp. testing in chicken flocks, might be an easy to use and accurate alternative to ES. The objective of the study was to assess accuracy of SO for detection of MAP in dairy herds. At each of 102 participating herds, 6 ES and 2 SO were collected. In total, 45 herds had only negative samples in both methods and 29 herds had ≥1 positive ES and ≥1 positive SO. Furthermore, 27 herds with ≥1 positive ES had no positive SO, and 1 herd with no positive ES had 1 positive SO. Bayesian simulation with informative priors on sensitivity of ES and MAP herd prevalence provided a posterior sensitivity for SO of 43.5% (95% probability interval = 33-58), and 78.5% (95% probability interval = 62-93) for ES. Although SO were easy to use, accuracy was lower than for ES. Therefore, with improvements in the sampling protocol (e.g., more SO per farm and more frequent herd visits), as well as improvements in the laboratory protocol, perhaps SO would be a useful alternative for ES. © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Pircher M.,ABES Consulting International GmbH | Lechner B.,Kompetenzzentrum Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Mariani O.,Kompetenzzentrum Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH | Kammersberger A.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Engineering Structures | Year: 2011

An investigation of the damage caused by road traffic on three reinforced concrete bridges was performed. This study was performed with a focus on the determination of the damage induced by heavy vehicles in relation to the damage caused by average everyday traffic. A damage model based on fatigue of reinforcement bars was employed. The stress cycles in the reinforcement bars were determined using measurements of the crack widths under traffic loading. Stress cycles were analyzed using the Rainflow Method and Miner's Rule was employed to gain a measurement for the damage. Monitoring systems were installed on each of the three bridges and operated for several weeks continuously to collect input data for the damage model. Computer software was developed to process the monitoring data in the sense of the damage model. The described methodology was developed and used for the first time in the described project. Heavy traffic was shown to cause a disproportionate high portion of the overall damage on all three bridges. The obtained results indicated that the damage caused by singular events, such as the passage of a heavy vehicle, in relation to the damaging effects of every-day traffic differed significantly between the considered bridges. For one of the bridges the greatest damage from singular traffic events was computed for passages of special transport vehicles. The same bridge was also found to display the highest damage by a single passage in relation to average everyday traffic. Passages of short and heavy trucks with four and five axles were identified as the most detrimental traffic events on the other two bridges. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Wolf R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Wolf R.,University of Calgary | Barkema H.W.,University of Calgary | De Buck J.,University of Calgary | Orsel K.,University of Calgary
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2016

Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the causative agent of Johne's disease, is present on most dairy farms in Alberta, causing economic losses and presenting a potential public health concern. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to identify risk factors for Alberta dairy herds being MAP-positive based on environmental samples (ES). Risk assessments were conducted and ES were collected on 354 Alberta dairy farms (62% of eligible producers) voluntarily participating in the Alberta Johne's Disease Initiative. In univariate logistic regression, risk factors addressing animal and pen hygiene, as well as the use of feeding equipment to remove manure and manure application on pastures, were all associated with the number of positive ES. Furthermore, based on factor analysis, risk factors were clustered and could be summarized as 4 independent factors: (1) animal, pen, and feeder contamination; (2) shared equipment and pasture contamination; (3) calf diet; and (4) cattle purchase. Using these factor scores as independent variables in multivariate logistic regression models, a 1-unit increase in animal, pen, and feeder contamination resulted in 1.31 times higher odds of having at least 1 positive ES. Furthermore, a 1-unit increase in cattle purchase also resulted in 1.31 times the odds of having at least 1 positive ES. Finally, a 100-cow increase in herd size resulted in an odds ratio of 2.1 for having at least 1 positive ES. In conclusion, cleanliness of animals, pens, and feeders, as well as cattle purchase practices, affected risk of herd infection with MAP. Therefore, improvements in those management practices should be the focus of effective tools to control MAP on dairy farms. © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Source


Hornich R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung | Adelwohrer R.,Amt der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung
Geomechanik und Tunnelbau | Year: 2010

At the end of June 2009, a period of heavy rainfall set in the Aus- trian state of Steiermark (Styria), which in addition to widespread flooding on the scale of a disaster also caused an unusually large number of landslides. These mass movements affected southeast Styria worst. This was not only due to the concentration of pre- cipitation in the area, but also the particular geological condi- tions, which are especially favourable for landslides. The land- slides severely affected not only agricultural areas but also trans- port and utility infrastructure so that in the Feldbach district, lo- cated in the middle of this area, a state of emergency had to be declared and maintained for several weeks. © 2010 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

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