The impact of a PEER funded research project “Testing and Hybrid Simulation of Environmentally Damaged Bridge Columns” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Claudia P. Ostertag, T.Y. and Margaret Lin Professor in Civil Engineering, UC Berkeley. The research team includes Selim Günay, Project Scientist, UC Berkeley; Jacob F. Duncan, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley; and Ian D. Williams, Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley.
In 2016, the Federal Highway Administration reported that 5.6% of all reinforced concrete bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. The deteriorated state of these bridges poses a serious risk, not only in day-to-day use, but especially in the case of a large seismic event. Following such an event, mobility of emergency and rescue crews is imperative for post-disaster response. Reinforced concrete bridges in seismically active regions are designed and tested thoroughly, with high confidence that such bridges will be operational immediately following a large earthquake. This assumes, however, that bridges are in pristine, undamaged condition prior to the seismic event. The residual drift and load-carrying capacity of corroded bridges following a seismic event is unknown. This lack of data poses a large research gap, one that comes with potential threat to the safety of people living in seismically active areas. The research conducted in this project will help fill that gap in knowledge and obtain a better understanding of the seismic performance of deteriorated bridges such as those in the field.