Holding Steady

by Mark Ashley, P.E., (M.ASCE), Bridge Engr., Proj. Mgr., and Sr. Vice Pres.; T. Y. Lin International, San Diego, CA,
Bob Dougherty, P.E., Assoc. Engr.; California Dept. of Transp., Sacramento, CA,
Robert M. Jones, P.E., Sr. Bridge Engr.; California Dept. of Transp., Sacramento, CA,
Shahin Pourvahidi, P.E., Sr. Bridge Engr.; California Dept. of Transp., Sacramento, CA,
Tomas A. Kompfner, P.E., Principal Bridge Engineer; J. Muller International, San Diego, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 7, Pg. 52-57,85

Document Type: Feature article


The San Diego�Coronado Bay Bridge is an unmistakable landmark that frames the skyline of downtown San Diego, providing a vital link between the mainland and the Coronado peninsula. The seismic retrofit of this critical structure is among the most ambitious undertaken by the California Department of Transportation because of the community's expectation that the look of the bridge will not be significantly altered, because of the 90 degree curvature of the bridge, and because the bridge straddles an active seismic fault. The design incorporated no fewer than 19 different types of restrainers, and pipe-in-pipe diagonal bracing between the plate girders, and seismic isolation and damping systems. The cap beams at the piers were strengthened by adding concrete, and the columns were retrofitted for both flexure and shear by adding reinforced-concrete jackets on the outside of the rectangular column sections. To retrofit the pile caps, the thickness of the step-tapered sections was increased by reinforced concrete to the top surfaces. Abelt-and-suspenders approach involving 10 viscous dampers was used at the bridge expansion joints.

Subject Headings: Reinforced concrete | Bridges | Seismic tests | Rehabilitation | Seismic effects | Seismic design | Plate girders

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