General frameworks for reliability differentiation have evolved over time and are mainly developed for buildings. However, recommendations for the safety of existing quay walls are lacking. In this study, target reliability indices for assessing existing quay walls were derived by economic optimisation and by evaluating the requirements concerning human safety. In quay-wall design, some dominant stochastic design variables are largely time-independent, such as soil and material properties. The influence of time-independent variables on the evolution of the probability of failure was taken into consideration, since this affects the present value of future failure costs and the associated target reliability indices. The target reliability indices obtained for existing quay walls depend on the consequences of failure and the remaining lifetime. If the failure modes of a quay wall are governed by time-independent design parameters and the quay wall has already survived the early service period, the residual probability of failure is lower for an existing quay wall compared to a new structure. Hence, this should be considered in the determination of target reliability indices. The method to evaluate quay-wall reliability over time can also be used to assess other civil and geotechnical structures.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • corrosion, existing quay walls, human safety, past performance, probability of failure, risk acceptance criteria, Target reliability index

ID: 68240486