American Society of Civil Engineers


Bridge Seismic Retrofitting Practices in the Central and Southeastern United States


by Timothy Wright, (corresponding author), (Graduate Research Assistant, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 790 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355 E-mail: tim.r.wright@gatech.edu), Reginald DesRoches, M.ASCE, (Professor and Associate Chair, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 790 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355. E-mail: reginald.desroches@ce.gatech.edu), and Jamie E. Padgett, A.M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice Univ., 6100 Main St., MS-318, Houston, TX 77005. E-mail: jamie.padgett@rice.edu)

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 1, January/February 2011, pp. 82-92, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)BE.1943-5592.0000128)

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper conducts a detailed review of the seismic hazard, inventory, bridge vulnerability, and bridge retrofit practices in the Central and Southeastern United States (CSUS). Based on the analysis of the bridge inventory in the CSUS, it was found that over 12,927 bridges (12.6%) are exposed to 7% probability of exceedance (PE) in 75-year peak ground acceleration (PGA) of greater than 0.20 g, and nearly 3.5% of bridges in the CSUS have a 7% PE in 75-year PGA of greater than 0.50 g. Since many of the bridges in this region were not designed with explicit consideration of the seismic hazard, many of them are in need of seismic retrofitting to reduce their seismic vulnerability. While several of the states in the CSUS have retrofitted some of their bridges, systematic retrofit programs do not currently exist. The review of retrofit practices in the region indicates that the most common retrofit approaches in the CSUS include the use of restrainer cables, isolation bearings, column jacketing, shear keys, and seat extenders. The paper presents an overview of the common approaches and details used for the aforementioned retrofit measures. This paper serves as a useful tool for bridge engineers in the CSUS as they begin to perform systematic retrofit of vulnerable bridges in the region.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Bridges
Earthquakes
Rehabilitation
Seismic effects
Geological faults
United States

Author Keywords:
Bridges
Earthquakes
Retrofit
New Madrid Seismic Zone
State of the art