Selection of Critical Bridges for Retrofitting

by Anatole Longinow, (Aff.M.ASCE), Engrg. Advisor; Illinois Inst. of Tech. Research Inst., Chicago, Ill.,
Ernest Bergmann, Project Engr.; Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, Tex.,
James D. Cooper, (M.ASCE), Structural Research Engr.; Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 197-210

Document Type: Journal Paper


With few exceptions highway bridges in this country have not been designed to resist motions and forces that may be generated by the occurrence of earthquakes in their areas. Thus, many bridges may be expected to fail in some major way during their remaining life if subjected to strong motion seismic loads. If an earthquake occurs a bridge may be destroyed or damaged to the extent that it cannot sustain traffic or that it blocks an intersecting road. This narrative addresses itself to the identification of the criticality of the bridge in relation to the road, the road network, the community, and the national defense/security system. The criticality of the bridge is then compared to its ability in resisting the disaster and a need to retrofit (or not to retrofit) the bridge is established. The objective is to produce a procedure whereby a decision can be made as to which bridges in a given road network need to be retroffitted relative to a given earthquake.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Earthquakes | Bridges | Rehabilitation | Highway and road design | Highway bridges | Bridge design | Ground motion

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