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MCEER and ATC to Develop Bridge Design Specifications

January 1999--A joint venture between the Applied Technology Council and MCEER has been selected by the AASHTO-sponsored National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) to develop the next generation of seismic design specifications for highway bridges.

NCHRP Project 12-49, Comprehensive Specifications for the Seismic Design of Bridges, will result in the development of specifications, commentary, and design examples, which will be incorporated into the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. Work on this 30-month project started in August 1998.

The project will address all aspects of highway bridge seismic design, including the representation of seismic hazard, design and performance criteria, analysis methods, steel and concrete super-structure and substructure design and de-tailing, and foundation and retaining wall design.

Chris Rojahn of ATC is the project administrative officer and Ian Friedland of MCEER is the project principal investigator. The project team includes:

BERGER/ ABAM Engineers will function as the design example subconsultant.

Project meetings were held October 1-2 and December 3-4. A Project Engineering Panel, chaired by Ian Buckle, University of Auckland, will provide technical advice and guidance.

More information on NCHRP activities can be found at

MCEER is a nationwide consortium on earthquake engineering research, headquartered at the University at Buffalo. Funded principally by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the state of New York and the Federal Highway Administration, the center was established by the NSF in 1986 as the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. The center's mission is to reduce earthquake losses through research and the application of advanced technologies that improve engineering, pre-earthquake planning and post-earthquake recovery strategies.


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