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Lessons in bridge damage learned from the Wenchuan earthquake

W. Phillip Yen1, Genda Chen2, Mark Yashinski3, Youssef Hashash4, Curtis Holub5, Wang Kehai6 and GuoXiaodong7

  1. Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center of Federal Highway Administration (FWHA)
  2. Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety (CTIS), a National University Transportation Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology
  3. California Department of Transportation Representing the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Representing Geo-Engineering Earthquake Reconnaissance (GEER)
  5. Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  6. Research Institute of Highway, the Ministry of Communication of China
  7. Sichuan Province Highway Planning, Survey, Design, and Research Institute, China

Abstract: A strong earthquake occurred in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China, on May 12, 2008. Shortly after the earthquake, the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center of the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the Research Institute of Highways, the Ministry of Communication of China, led a reconnaissance team to conduct a post-earthquake bridge performance investigation of the transportation system in the earthquake affected areas. The U.S. transportation system reconnaissance team visited the area during July 20–24, 2008. This paper presents the findings and lessons learned by the team.

Keywords: earthquake engineering; bridge engineering; post earthquake investigation

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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.