Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research logo google logo
navigation bar
MCEER Bulletin Logo

back | contents | next

ATC/MCEER Joint Venture Publishes New LRFD Guidelines for Bridges

The ATC/MCEER Joint Venture, a partnership of the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and MCEER, is pleased to announce the availability of a new publication, Recommended LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway Bridges. The Guidelines are based on significant enhancements in the state of knowledge and state of practice resulting from research investigations and lessons learned from earthquakes over the last 15 years. The Guidelines consist of specifications, commentary, and appendices developed to be compatible with the existing load-and-resistance-factor design (LRFD) provisions for highway bridges published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The new, updated, provisions are nationally applicable and cover all seismic zones, as well as all bridge construction types and materials. They reflect the latest design philosophies and approaches that will result in highway bridges with a high level of seismic performance.

The Guidelines contain numerous innovative and updated requirements and procedures, including: state-of-knowledge seismic hazard maps developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); recommended design earthquakes and performance objectives; guidance on assessment of liquefaction and design solutions; new soil factors and new spectral shapes; seismic design requirements for steel bridges; “no analysis” design concept; use of some seismic resisting systems and elements not permitted in the current AASHTO provisions; capacity spectrum design procedures; displacement capacity verification (“Pushover”) analysis; and cost comparisons and implications.

Development of the consensus-based Guidelines was funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 12-49, and in part by the Federal Highway Administration as part of MCEER’s Highway Project. The project included a distinguished advisory committee of experts in earthquake and bridge engineering, and received significant input and guidance from the NCHRP Project Panel as well as from the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures seismic design technical committee (T-3). As a result, the Guidelines reflect a broad consensus opinion of leaders in the field of seismically designed bridges and highway structures and can be considered the most advanced bridge seismic design tool available today.

Several companion publications that provide detailed design examples, which demonstrate the application and use of these new provisions, and liquefaction case studies will also be published in the near future. Their availability will be announced on the ATC and MCEER websites.

The Recommended LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway Bridges is published in two volumes: Part I: Specifications, and Part II: Commentary and Appendices. The set includes a CD-ROM containing USGS Seismic Hazard Curves and Uniform Hazard Response Spectra for the United States and will be available from both ATC and MCEER for $75.00 (plus shipping and handling). To order, To order, contact at (716) 645-3395, or online. Or, contact ATC Publication Sales at (650) 595-1542, e-mail:, or use ATC’s Online store at

Any comments or suggestions concerning the bulletin are welcome!
To do so, write the editor at Summer 2003.

  Contact Us  |  Acknowledgements   |  Disclaimer  |  Copyright© 2007 by the Research Foundation of the State of New York. All rights reserved.