Structural Assessment of a Masonry Quay Wall in Amsterdam Under Traffic Loading

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Canals delimited by masonry quay walls are integral elements of many cities in the Netherlands. Historically built to enable the efficient transportation of goods, today such infrastructure also gives the cities their historical and monumental character. In recent years, many quay walls in the Netherlands have shown substantial deformation and damage, and in few cases even collapse. Historical quay walls, which are constructed in thick multi-wythe unreinforced brick masonry and are supported on a system of timber piles, nowadays sustain traffic loads larger than the one they were designed for. Instances of collapse and severe damage has given rise to a need for research assessing the safety of these structures, which are not appropriately covered by any normative or standardised guidelines. This paper presents a novel methodology to numerically assess the performance of masonry walls in historical quays under the dynamic effect of traffic loads. Application of the proposed methodology to a case study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is presented.