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Researchers Meet to Coordinate Efforts on Highway Project 094

During the months of May and June 2001, two coordination meetings were held among researchers working on the MCEER Highway Project. MCEER Project 094 researchers working in the areas of seismic risk assessment and loss estimation met in San Francisco on May 12, and researchers working in the areas of special bridges, earthquake protective systems, and foundations and geotechnical studies met in Sacramento, California on June 14 and 15.The objectives for both meetings were threefold:

Review work conducted and results obtained during Research Year 1;
Facilitate the coordination of work being conducted during Research Year 2;
Initiate planning for Research Years 3 and 4.

Many of the tasks being conducted under MCEER Project 094 require close cooperation and integration among these researchers, as the final products resulting from the project are expected to comprise several design and retrofit manuals and procedures for special bridges (e.g., medium and long-span truss structures, arches, and suspension and cable-stayed bridges) that address a range of technical issues including ground motion and seismic hazard representation and input, foundation and substructure design and performance, and superstructure performance and retrofitting.

During both meetings, Dr. Ian Buckle, technical coordinator of Project 094 and professor of civil engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, set the stage by providing an overview of the focus and intent of the project, and his vision as to how each of the major task areas will eventually feed into the primary project deliverables. This was followed by presentations from each researcher, who discussed work completed in Research Year 1 and described preliminary recommendations/results. Each researcher then presented work proposed for Research Year 2, and subsequent discussions were held among the group to refine approaches and proposed products.

Due to a long delay between the time that Research Year 1 ended and Year 2 started, it was proposed that a multi-year research plan and budget be prepared. Researchers therefore discussed project needs and proposed tasks for Years 3 and 4, and were charged with developing preliminary task statements and budgets by the end of July 2001. The preliminary research tasks and budgets will be reviewed by the project Research Committee in late August, and a final Year 3 (and possibly Year 4) research plan will be prepared and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration in October 2001. It is anticipated that Research Year 3 will start on January 1, 2002, and each subsequent Research Year will be based on the calendar year.

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