ACI “Excellence in Structural Engineering Research” Award for Bridge Column Capacity Research Paper

Vesna Terzic and Bozidar Stojadinovic are selected to receive the ACI Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research for the paper, “Evaluation of Post-Earthquake Axial Load Capacity of Circular Bridge Columns,” which investigates the relationship between earthquake-induced damage in bridge columns and their axial load capacity in a damaged condition. The paper was published in the January/February 2015 issue of the ACI Structural Journal.

Sponsored by PEER and CalTrans, this project examined post-earthquake traffic capacity of typical highway overpass bridges. Read more about the paper and download a copy.

Objective evaluation of the capacity of a bridge to carry self-weight and traffic loads after an earthquake is essential for a safe and timely re-opening of the bridge. The ability of a bridge to function depends directly on the remaining capacity of the bridge columns to carry gravity and lateral loads. An experimental study on models of modern circular reinforced concrete bridge columns was performed to investigate the relationship between earthquake-induced damage in bridge columns and the capacity of the columns to carry axial load in a damaged condition. The earthquake-like damage was induced in the column specimens in bi-directional quasi-static lateral load tests. The damaged column specimens were than re-centered to eliminate the residual drifts and tested in compression to failure to evaluate their remaining axial load strength. It was found that well-confined modern bridge columns lose approximately 20% of their axial load capacity after sustaining displacement ductility demands of 4.5.