Bridge Damage Review?Loma Prieta Earthquake

by Thomas R. Cooper, CALTRANS, Sacramento, United States,
Michael Van de Pol, CALTRANS, Sacramento, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


The Loma Prieta Earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989 caused varying degrees of damage on highway bridges. Within a few hours of the event CALTRANS had dispatched two teams of bridge designers to appraise and investigate damaged structures. This first-hand look at the damage caused by earthquake loads provided an opportunity to assess the seismic performance of many types of structures. It provided a chance to check design assumptions, seismic details, and to anticipate design considerations which may be critical in a larger event. The purpose of this paper is to investigate damage to selected highway structures on state routes from Santa Cruz north along the San Francisco Peninsula to San Francisco. The eyewitness accounts given by bridge designers, coupled with follow-up research and analysis on damaged structures, will be a valuable tool in seismic design of highway structures in the future.

Subject Headings: Highway bridges | Highway and road structures | Seismic design | Highway and road design | Earthquakes | Bridge design | Structural analysis | California | United States | San Francisco Bay Area

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