Evaluation of Techniques for the Seismic Modeling of Elevated Freeway Bridges

by Amitava Ghose, Cygna Group, Oakland, United States,
Ronald M. Polivka, Cygna Group, Oakland, United States,
Brian A. Maroney, Cygna Group, Oakland, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


Following the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, a number of seismic parametric studies were performed for both two-level elevated freeways and single-column bridge structures. Results of these parametric studies are being used to both validate and improve upon the current modeling techniques used by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in the seismic evaluation and design of elevated freeway structures. This paper describes the types of studies that were performed for two-level elevated freeways and some of the significant findings and recommendations resulting from this work. Reported herein are the effects on seismic design forces of nodal refinement in columns; techniques for modeling the roadway deck and bent caps; load combinations - including consideration of a vertical earthquake component and live loads; and use of boundary elements for modeling adjacent bridge structures.

Subject Headings: Seismic loads | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Structural models | Highways and roads | Bridge tests | Bridge columns | Highway bridges | California | United States

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