Development of a Limit-State Seismic Code for Bridges

by Ian G. Buckle, State Univ of New York, Buffalo, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability


The catastrophic collapse of the Cypress Street Viaduct during the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989 and the loss of spans in both the Struve Slough Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has emphasized, once again the importance of rigorous seismic design procedures for highway bridges. More than eighty bridges were damaged in this moderate earthquake. Damage patterns confirm the seismic vulnerability of older structures on poor ground, but equally disturbing is the damage sustained by some new structures designed to so-called 'modern' codes. This paper reviews the present situation regarding seismic codes for bridges in the United States and in particular it describes some of the issues being re-examined during the development of seismic provisions for a new LRFD code for bridges.

Subject Headings: Highway bridges | Damage (structural) | Limit states | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Standards and codes | Bridges | Bridge design | United States | California

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