Recent earthquakes in California and abroad have provided performance data demonstrating that large losses can result from inadequate performance of highway bridges. An experimental and analytical research program was undertaken to characterize the response of well-confined, circular cross section, concrete bridge columns subjected to lateral loading. In the experimental investigation, columns with varying longitudinal reinforcement ratios and aspect ratios were tested in the laboratory to characterize the response of modern bridge columns to lateral loads. In the analytical investigation, methods to assess strength, force-displacement response, and element damage were evaluated using the experimental results. The research program results are used to delineate a performance-based seismic design framework for reinforced concrete bridge columns. Additional details about the study and results may be found in Seismic Performance of Well-Con- fined Concrete Bridge Columns (D. E. Lehman, University of Michigan dissertation AAT9922928, 1998).
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