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National Bridge Conference Attracts over 350 Professionals

Pictured at the conference are : Tom Lulay, Oregon DOT; James Roberts, Imbsen & Associates/Caltrans; Roland Nimis, FHWA; and Gary Hamby, FHWA

Pictured at the conference are (from left): Tom Lulay, Oregon DOT; James Roberts, Imbsen & Associates/Caltrans; Roland Nimis, FHWA; and Gary Hamby, FHWA.

The Third National Seismic Conference & Workshop on Bridges & Highways attracted more than 350 bridge and highway engineers, design consultants, and federal, state and local transportation owners from throughout the U.S. and abroad. With more than 40 technical presentations, 21 poster presentations, and 24 exhibitors, the conference served as a forum on the latest practices and technological advancements in seismic design and retrofit for bridges and highways in all seismic zones.

Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Oregon DOT and Washington State DOT, and organized by MCEER, the conference was held April 28-May 1, 2002 in Portland, Oregon. This is the third conference in the series and follows successful conferences held in San Diego, California in 1995 and in Sacramento, California in 1997. The theme of this year's event was "Advances in Engineering and Technology for the Seismic Safety of Bridges in the New Millennium."

Roland Nimis, Western infrastructure chief for FHWA, served as the host of the workshop. He welcomed the participants and introduced the opening keynote speakers. The first speaker, Gary Hamby, Western regional director of the FHWA, told the audience that the highway administration is working with the Office of Homeland Security and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to assess the vulnerability of bridges and overpasses during the next three to six months. Hamby said that the national highway system must be able to adapt not only to natural disasters such as earthquakes, but also to acts of terrorism that could disrupt transportation and seriously damage the economy. Another keynote speaker, James Roberts, who has spent 50 years with the California Transportation Department, gave an overview of new technology and designs being used to minimize earthquake damage.

Photo of Greg Lawson and Amarnath Kasalanati, of DIS, Inc, at their Display

Many organizations displayed their products and services at the conference. Shown above are Greg Lawson and Amarnath Kasalanati, DIS, Inc.

Other sessions featured topics including lessons learned from recent earthquakes (since 1998), seismic design practices and specifications, design of major bridges in high and moderate seismic areas, effects of near field earthquakes on bridges, an international forum on advanced earthquake design and mitigation technologies and approaches that have been implemented in other parts of the world, seismic practices for transportation structures and systems, displacement based design, emerging seismic design and retrofit technologies, and development and testing of the new LRFD seismic design specifications for highway bridges.

Click here for order information on the Proceedings.

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