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Strength Degradation of Existing Bridge Columns
Author(s) and Affiliation(s):
Omar A. Jaradat and David I. McLean Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Washington State University, Pullman, WA M. Lee Marsh, BERGER/ABAM Engineers, Inc., Federal Way, WA
Principal Investigator:
David I. McLean
National Science Foundation
Research Start Date:
September 30, 1993
Expected Completion Date:
June 30, 1996
Research Objectives:
Much of the previous research on the seismic behavior of reinforced concrete columns was performed on cantilever columns that lose their flexural and shear strength at the same time. The remaining shear strength after the formation of a plastic hinge or the degradation of a spliced region is only partially understood. In this study, experimental tests were performed on column specimens with moment restraint provided at both ends, resulting in a transfer of shear through the column even after a hinging region degrades. The main objective of this study is to characterize the flexure and shear behavior of older bridge columns for purposes of seismic assessment and retrofit design, particularly with regard to assessing the shear strength present in degraded hinge regions.
Expected Products or Deliverables:
The results of this study will provide additional information to characterize the strength and degradation behavior of reinforced concrete bridge columns under seismic loading. Current and proposed flexural and shear models will be evaluated based on observed column behavior. Recommendations will be made for assessing the seismic performance of columns in existing bridges. The ability of degraded column hinge regions to continue to transfer shear and axial forces will be determined, and the viability of proposed partial retrofit strategies evaluated.

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