Subject and Keywords:
Soil-steel composite bridges are considered competitive structures being an economical alternative to similar span concrete bridges. They are increasingly used for road and railway bridge construction. Spans have increased and structures with spans over 20 m have been built. The continuous development of infrastructure impels designers to push the limits of these structures for bigger spans with the lowest possible height of cover. Since the birth of the ring compression theory, different design methods have been developed to account for the various conditions and facilitate the use of bigger span structures. Yet, there is an urge to investigate whether the current design procedures are conservative or if they are reasonably accurate to predict the capacity of large-span structures. This paper presents the on-going project involving the capacity of large-span soil-steel composite bridges. The study investigates the use of finite element modelling in predicting the performance of a case study for an ultimate limit state field test. The project also highlights the need and intention to perform an ultimate limit state test for a large-span structure. The outcome of the project is to assess the current design procedures and to reflect recommendations on the design where seen applicable.