Pipeline Operators receive numerous requests annually to cross their pipelines. In many of these cases detailed analysis using a number of different methods are performed since no simplified approach is available. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) with Kiefner and Associates, Inc. undertook the development of a screening methodology for vehicle loading. The hope is a standard approach to these analyses might be established to assist pipeline operating companies. This paper describes an approach detailing the development and implementation of a simplified screening process to assess the effects of surface loads on buried pipelines. A design basis was established based on a literature review to identify theoretical models, standards, codes, and recommended practices that are currently used to assess the surface loading effects on buried pipelines. This design basis was incorporated into a methodology utilized to develop a screening tool which provides a simple “pass/no pass” determination and is based on attributes which are generally easy to obtain (e.g., wheel or axle load, ground surface loading pressure, depth of cover, maximum allowable operating pressure and design factor). Situations which pass the initial screening would require no additional analysis while situations that do not pass the initial screening may need to be evaluated on a more detailed basis. Simplified graphs have been developed to assist in additional screening prior to performing a more detailed evaluation.

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