The impact of a PEER funded research project "Ground Improvement-Based Protection of Transportation Infrastructure: Validation of PBE via Centrifuge and Numerical Modeling" is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator (PI) is Tara Hutchinson, Professor of Structural Engineering, UC San Diego. The Co-Principal Investigator is John McCartney, Professor of Structural Engineering, UC San Diego. The Research Team includes Jeffrey Newgard, Research Assistant, UC San Diego.
By developing a strategy to control the detrimental kinematics of plastic hinging foundations, practice can move and embrace a natural, cost-effective solution with its implementation in PBE of transportation infrastructure. The proposed approach, via implementation of ground improvement strategies below rocking foundations, supports use of readily accepted concepts in geotechnical practice. We anticipate these concepts will be readily accepted in practice with sufficient experimental and numerical evidence. It is noted that the use of ground improvement strategies is also readily extensible to retrofit design and thus when the additional rocking and/or energy dissipative benefits of an existing transportation structure foundation support system are needed to enhance seismic performance, coupling with ground improvement to control deformations offers a feasible option. Ultimately, adaption of this concept will reduce risk to infrastructure in the event of severe earthquakes, limiting potential service disruptions and costly repairs to transportation systems.