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Performance-based concept on seismic evaluation of existing bridges

Yu-Chi Sung1, Wen-I Liao1 and W. Phillip Yen2

  1. Department of Civil Engineering, Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Chinese Taipei
  2. Office of Infrastructure, R&D, Federal Highway Administration, 6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 20121, USA

Abstract: Conventional seismic evaluation of existing bridges explores the ability of a bridge to survive under significant earthquake excitations. This approach has several major drawbacks, such as only a single structural performance of near collapse is considered, and the simplified approach of adopting strength-based concept to indirectly estimate the nonlinear behavior of a structure lacks accuracy. As a result, performance-based concepts that include a wider variety of structural performance states of a given bridge excited by different levels of earthquake intensity is needed by the engineering community. This paper introduces an improved process for the seismic evaluation of existing bridges. The relationship between the overall structural performance and earthquakes with varying levels of peak ground acceleration (PGA) can successfully be linked. A universal perspective on the seismic evaluation of bridges over their entire life-cycle can be easily obtained to investigate multiple performance objectives. The accuracy of the proposed method, based on pushover analysis, is proven in a case study that compares the results from the proposed procedure with additional nonlinear time history analyses.

Keywords: pushover analysis; plastic hinge; seismic capacity; seismic demand; performance-based concepts

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.