Modeling Bridge Abutment Stiffness for the Meloland Road Overcrossing

by John C. Wilson, McMaster Univ, Hamilton, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


A simplified equivalent spring model representing the dynamic stiffness of a highway bridge abutment system is developed for use in seismic response studies. It is based on linear elastic two-dimensional plane strain analyses of typical bridge abutment cross-sections. The model consists of two massless translational springs; one spring in the transverse direction and one in the vertical direction. The springs are used to model abutment stiffness in a finite element model of the Meloland Road Overcrossing. Dynamic bridge responses computed from the finite element model show good qualitative agreement with information extracted from strong-motion records obtained on the bridge during the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake.

Subject Headings: Bridge abutments | Dynamic models | Structural models | Stiffening | Highways and roads | Finite element method | Linear analysis | Bridge foundations | California | United States

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