Meeting Review

Highway Seismic Research Council
and Highway Project Researchers Meeting

by Ian M. Friedland

The NCEER/Federal Highway Administration Highway Project Annual Meeting was held on November 19-20, 1996 in Buffalo, New York. The meeting was attended by more than 45 members of the Highway Seismic Research Council (HSRC) and project researchers.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the HSRC to review progress through the third year of research under the two Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contracts comprising the NCEER/FHWA Highway Project (Seismic Vulnerability of New Highway Construction and Seismic Vulnerability of Existing Highway Construction) and to discuss the plan for the Year 4 research program. In addition, the draft strawmen reports for Volumes I and III of the proposed Seismic Retrofitting Manuals for Highway Systems ("Seismic Risk Analysis of Highway Systems" and "Screening, Evaluation and Retrofitting of Retaining Structures, Slopes, Tunnels, Culverts and Pavements") were discussed in detail.

Discussions during the meeting were grouped around the primary Highway Project technical areas: soils and foundations; design issues and details; performance criteria, design criteria, fragility and risk; seismic hazard and ground motion; and analysis and earthquake protective systems. Meeting participants provided feedback on the specific objectives and research approach for each task and on the overall focus and scope for each of the two FHWA contracts. The two groups comprising the HSRC (the Coordination Group and Technical Group) also met in executive sessions during the meeting. They developed consensus recommendations regarding the scope of work for individual tasks, the proposed Seismic Retrofitting Manuals, other anticipated project products, coordination of research with other agencies, and technology transfer and implementation of project results. Formal written reports were submitted by the two HSRC groups following the meeting.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for the HSRC and project researchers to "brainstorm" on future research needs, in order to identify gaps in knowledge that may prevent the effective implementation of the Seismic Retrofitting Manuals. These needs will be discussed further by the project Research Committee during its next meeting in February 1997. At that time, a determination will be made as to whether and when some of these identified research needs should be initiated under the project.

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Last modified March 10, 1997