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PEER Research Project Highlight: “System Level Performance Evaluation of Earthquake Resilient Bridges Using Hybrid Simulation”

The impact of a PEER funded research project “System Level Performance Evaluation of Earthquake Resilient Bridges Using Hybrid Simulation” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Khalid M. Mosalam, Taisei Professor of Civil Engineering, UC Berkeley. The research team includes Selim Günay, Project Scientist, UC Berkeley; Yingjie Wu, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley.

Download the Research Project Highlight which includes the abstract. (PDF)

Research Impact:

mosalamHighway bridges in California constitute one of the most important components of the transportation system. Proper functioning and operation of these bridges are essential for resiliency of the California communities as well as for purposes of post-earthquake recovery. Conventional CALTRANS bridge design philosophy is based on preventing any damage to the deck, cap beam, joints, etc., while dissipating the energy due to ground motion through inelastic ductile response of the bridge columns.

Although this approach is useful to prevent significant damage or collapse of the bridges, it involves risks affecting the resilience and post-earthquake recovery because of the need to close the bridge for traffic for potential column repairs. Furthermore, the presence of residual drifts at the end of inelastic response introduces challenges for the repair operations, which may increase the downtime and monetary losses. For increasing the highway bridge resilience, research has been conducted in recent years, which consist of the development of damage-resistant, re-centering column designs (referred to as resilient columns), and evaluation of these designs with quasi-static and shaking table tests. Although these experiments provided valuable information on the performance of the developed designs and their corresponding response enhancement, the obtained results were limited to the local column level and did not include the investigation of a complete bridge that contains these resilient columns (i.e. without consideration of the response of the entire bridge system and the interaction of the resilient column with the remainder of the bridge).

The conducted system level hybrid simulation (HS) tests and the accompanying performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) are expected to complement the previous and ongoing research efforts on resilient columns and extend the outcome of such research to resilient bridges and transportation systems.