Evaluation of Seismic Vulnerability of Highway Bridges in the Eastern United States

by J. B. Mander, State Univ of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, United States,
F. D. Panthaki, State Univ of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, United States,
M. T. Chaudhary, State Univ of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering in the Central and Eastern U.S.

Abstract: For high risk seismic zones such as California, the state-of-the-art in earthquake resistant design for new highway bridges has been well advanced, especially since the damaging 1971 San Fernando earthquake. The catastrophic failures in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake brought a new awareness to the vulnerability of existing non-seismically designed bridge structures, particularly those in the eastern U.S. Instead of applying code-based formulations as an inverse to the design process to determine the vulnerability of existing bridges, this paper presents an energy-based evaluation methodology. Results are presented for a one-quarter scale model gravity load designed pier, which show that in spite of poor detailing, gravity load designed structures can possess a high degree of intrinsic lateral strength and ductility capacity.

Subject Headings: Highway bridges | Bridge design | Highway and road design | Seismic design | Gravity loads | Sustainable development | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Load bearing capacity | Bridge tests | North America | United States | California

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