Seismic Design of Highway Bridges in the United States

by Roland L. Sharpe, (F.ASCE), Managing Director; Applied Technology Council, Berkeley, Calif.,
James D. Cooper, (M.ASCE), Program Mgr.; Dept. of Research, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.,
Ronald L. Mayes, (M.ASCE), Executive Dir.; Applied Technology Council, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 13-27

Document Type: Journal Paper


There has been a tendency in most parts of the United States to view earthquakes as primarily a California problem. However, more than 70,000,000 people are subject to moderate or major earthquake risk. The paper presents preliminary criteria for the seismic design of highway bridges. The work was performed by Applied Technology Council under contract with the Federal Highway Administration. The criteria have been developed by a Project Engineering Panel which was assembled by ATC and consists of university researchers, private practice consultants, and state highway representatives. A number of redesigns will be performed to determine the viability and economic impact of the preliminary criteria. The results of these designs will be incorporated as appropriate and the final provisions will be completed in mid-1980.

Subject Headings: Seismic design | Bridge design | Highway and road design | Highway bridges | Seismic tests | Earthquakes | Consulting services | Risk management | United States | California

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