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The MCEER Highway Project 094

"Seismic Vulnerability of the Highway System"
FHWA Contract DTFH61-98-C-00094

Research Plan for Research Year 2


In the summer of 1998, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) was awarded a 6-year, $10.8 million contract by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct research on the seismic vulnerability of the U.S. national highway system. This contract, which  is known as MCEER Highway Project 094 and was authorized under the 1998 Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), is intended to draw upon and extend the work that was conducted under earlier FHWA-sponsored research at MCEER and elsewhere.

The earlier FHWA-sponsored contracts conducted by MCEER were focused primarily on the seismic design and retrofitting of typical highway bridges found throughout the United States. MCEER Highway Project 094 therefore focuses on several special issues not covered in those earlier studies, but which are considered critical to the future of the Nation's highway transportation infrastructure. MCEER Highway Project 094 research addresses:

MCEER Highway Project 094 is also addressing  a series of special studies, including research to further develop and extend post-earthquake non-destructive assessment technologies for retrofitted bridge components; support for NCHRP Project 12-49, which is developing a new seismic design specification for highway bridges; and designing and instrumenting the Cape Girardeau cable-stayed bridge, which is currently under construction across the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois in the New Madrid seismic hazard zone, to record strong ground motion and bridge structural response.

Dr. George C. Lee, MCEER director, is the project principal investigator, and Dr. Ian G. Buckle,  is the project technical director. At the current time, project administration is being handled by Mr. Ian M. Friedland of the Applied Technology Council.

Research Plan for Research Year 2

Many of the studies initiated in the first year of MCEER Highway Project 094 were designed as multiyear tasks. However, funding for the program is allocated by the FHWA on an annual basis. Many Research Year 2 tasks are, therefore, continuations of Research Year 1 work.

Several new tasks were initiated in Research Year 2, including: Task B1-3 to develop fragility curves for seismically-retrofitted bridges, which are needed in the seismic risk analysis methodologies for highway systems and regional networks; Task C3-2 to improve understanding of the in-plane behavior and performance of bridges with flexible steel superstructures subjected to large transverse forces and displacements; Task D2-2 which is developing a new "intelligent" passive SRMD for bridges; and Task F3-2 to prepare a Guide Specification for bridge seismic design, on the basis of the load-and-resistance-factor (LRFD) based specification provisions developed under the AASHTO-sponsored NCHRP Project 12-49. Each of these tasks, along with all Research Year 1 continuation tasks, are detailed in the task statements contained in this report.

Project Schedule

The contract for MCEER Highway Project 094 was executed in late September 1998. Until June 1999, the focus of project activities was on empanelling the project advisory committee (the Highway Project Research Council-HSRC), and conducting administrative activities necessary to prepare and execute detailed task plans for Research Year 1 and the overall 6-year project.

Research Year 1 tasks were conducted between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, but due to administrative problems in preparing and executing the task plan for Research Year 2, the Year 2 research program was not officially initiated until January 1, 2001, and some Year 2 tasks did not start until mid-2001. In subsequent years, tasks for each Research Year will be designed so as to coincide with annual calendar years; i.e., research on Research Year 3 will run from January 1 through December 31, 2002, and so forth.

Research Task Statements

Loss Estimation Methodologies
Task B1-1 Review of REDARS 1.0 Seismic Risk Analysis Software
Ronald Eguchi, Image Cat, Inc.
Task B1-2 Support for Review of REDARS Seismic Risk Analysis Software and Evaluation of Multi-tiered Architecture Standards
Stuart Werner, Seismic Systems & Engineering Consultants
Task B1-3 Fragility Curves for Seismically Retrofitted Bridges and Effect of Retrofit on Transportation Network Performance
M. Shinozuka, University of Southern California
Special Bridges
Task C1-1 State-of-practice Survey and Strawman Seismic Design and Retrofit Manual for Long-Span Bridges
Charles Seim, T.Y. Lin
Task C2-1 Long-period Ground Motions and Spatial Variation Review
Apostolos Papageorgiou, University at Buffalo
Task C2-2 Pile Group Effects
Geoffrey Martin, University of Southern California and Ignatius PoLam, Earth Mechanics, Inc.
Task C3-1 Steel Truss Bridge Braced Pier and Substructure Connection Behavior
Michel Bruneau and John Mander, University at Buffalo
Task C3-2 Seismic Performance of Bridges with Steel Superstructures
Ian Buckle and A. Itani, University of Nevada, Reno and Michel Bruneau, University at Buffalo
Earthquake Protective Systems
Task D1-1 Performance Review of Seismically-isolated Structures
George C. Lee, University at Buffalo and Ian Buckle, University of Nevada, Reno
Task D1-2 Theoretical Formulation for Highly Damped Bridge Systems
George C. Lee and Z. Liang, University at Buffalo
Task D1-3 Displacement Estimates for Isolated Bridges
Andrew Whittaker, University at Buffalo
Task D2-1 Intelligent Bearings - State-of-the-art Review
George C. Lee and Michael Constantinou, University at Buffalo
Task D2-2 Develop and Evaluate Prototype Intelligent Passive System(s)
George C. Lee, University at Buffalo
Task D2-3 Energy Dissipation and Intelligent Devices for Bridges with Steel Superstructures
Michael A. Riley and Fahim Sadek, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Task D3-1 Manual for the Design and Retrofit of Bridges with Earthquake Protective Systems
Ian Buckle, University of Nevada, Reno and Michael Constantinou, University at Buffalo
Geotechnical Engineering
Task E1-1 Behavior and Displacement Capacity of Pile and Pile-to-cap Connections
Y. Xiao and Geoffrey Martin, University of Southern California, John Mander, University at Buffalo, 
Task E1-2 Foundation Design for Liquefaction-induced Lateral Displacements
Geoffrey Martin, University of Southern California
Task E2-1 Ground Remediation for Silty Soils Using Stone Columns
S. Thevanayagam, University at Buffalo
Special Studies
Task F3-2 Guide Specification for Seismic Design
R. Mayes, Consultant
Task F3-3 Support for Guide Specification Trial Design Program
Ian Friedland, Applied Technology Council
Technology Exchange and Transfer
Task G2-1 3rd FHWA National Seismic Conference and Workshop on Bridges and Highways
Ian Buckle, University of Nevada, Reno
Task G4-1 HITEC Response Modification Bearing and Dissipater Evaluation Follow-on Study
Ian Friedland, Applied Technology Council 


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