High Performance Bridge Systems for Lifeline Corridors in the Pacific Northwest – year 2 (2013-14)

PI: Marc Eberhard (UW)
Co-Investigators: Andre Barbosa (OSU), Dawn Lehman (UW), Charles Roeder (UW), John Stanton (UW), David Trejo (OSU)
Dates: 08/01/2013 – 10/31/2014

Reinforced concrete bridges in seismic regions have changed little since the mid-1970s, when ductile details were first introduced. Nearly all bents (intermediate supports) are constructed of cast-in-place reinforced concrete and conventional reinforcing steel. Such bridges have served the Pacific Northwest (PNW) well in the past, but to meet current performance expectations, new structural systems are needed to improve: seismic resilience, speed of construction, durability, and life-cycle costs. Improving seismic performance increases the safety of the travelling public, both by reducing the possibility of collapse and also, by allowing emergency vehicles to use the structure immediately following an earthquake. Reducing the onsite construction time further improves safety by reducing the amount of time that workers will be exposed to traffic hazards. It is not enough to develop new systems. Once these new systems have been developed, it will be necessary from bridge engineers to have sufficient information to be able to select the appropriate one for a particular application.