Workshop Review


U.S.-Japan Workshops on Seismic Retrofit
and Earthquake Protective Systems for Bridges

by Ian M. Friedland

The Third U.S.-Japan Workshop on Seismic Retrofit of Bridges was held in conjunction with the Fourth U.S.-Japan Workshop on Earthquake Protective Systems for Bridges in Osaka, Japan, on December 9 through 11, 1996. The U.S.-side co-sponsors for the workshops were the National Science Foundation and the NCEER/FHWA Highway Project; the Japan-side sponsor was the Public Works Research Institute (PWRI) of the Japan Ministry of Construction. Both workshops were held under the auspices of the UJNR Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects.

The organizers for the U.S. side were Ian G. Buckle and Ian M. Friedland. The U.S. delegation consisted of 20 participants representing academia, research institutions, engineering consultants, and State highway departments. Invited U.S. participants in the workshop included Kathleen Almand, Ahmed-W Elgamal, Gregory Fenves, Roy Imbsen, Anne Kiremidjian, H.S. Lew, John Mander, Masanobu Shinozuka, Andrew Taylor, Peter Clark, Serafim Arzoumanidis, Saad El-Azazy, Ahmad Itani, Roberto Lacalle, Nicos Makris, Andrew Whittaker and Yan Xiao.

[ViewThe Trans-Tokyo Bay Tunnel, currently under construction.

The first and second bridge seismic retrofit workshops were held in Tsukuba, Japan, in 1990 and Berkeley, California, in 1994. Based on the success of these workshops, the third workshop was oriented towards examining the performance of existing bridges during the 1994 Northridge and 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquakes, the development of new evaluation techniques, and research-in-progress related to innovative retrofitting strategies. Topics covered during the workshop included: (1) screening and prioritization for bridge retrofitting; (2) methods of analysis to assess the strength of existing bridges and the effectiveness of various retrofit schemes; (3) methods for retrofitting concrete and steel bridge columns; (4) methods for retrofitting bearings, foundations, and superstructures; and (5) performance of retrofitted bridges in recent earthquakes.

Similarly, the first three earthquake protective systems workshops were held in Buffalo, New York, Tsukuba, Japan, and Berkeley, California, in 1991, 1992, and 1994, respectively. The fourth workshop focused on research and the application of technology. Topics covered included: (1) innovative protective systems; (2) design methods for seismic isolation of bridges; and (3) full-scale verification and validation of system performance. As passive protective systems are now being widely implemented in both countries, an added emphasis of the workshop was on active and hybrid systems, and the use of smart and high-performance materials and structural systems.

[Girder Peter Clark, UCB, studying a damaged girder from the Rokko Island Bridge.

Following the workshops, the U.S. delegation participated in a study tour of transportation facilities in Kobe, Yokohama, and Tokyo on December 12 through 14. Among the facilities visited were the reconstructed Hanshin Expressway and National Highways in the Kobe region, the Bridgestone Rubber Factory (where lead-rubber and high-damping rubber isolation bearings are constructed) in Yokohama, ongoing column retrofits on a number of highways owned by the Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation in Tokyo, and the currently under construction Trans-Tokyo Bay Tunnel project.

Proceedings of the workshop will be published by the Public Works Research Institute (PWRI) in the spring of 1997, and a limited number of copies will be available from NCEER following publication.

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Last modified March 17, 1997