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bridgesmall.gif (4301 bytes)MCEER/NCEER Bulletin Articles: Administrative Mtgs

Highway Seismic Research Council

NCEER hosted a meeting of the Highway Seismic Research Council (HSRC) on September 22-24 at the University Inn and Conference Center in Buffalo. The meeting was held so that the HSRC could review Year 1 progress and research results with Highway Project researchers, and to discuss the Year 2 research plan on the two FHWA-sponsored contracts (i.e., Seismic Vulnerability of Existing Highway Construction Project 106, and Seismic Vulnerability of New Highway Construction Project 112).

On Thursday, September 22, George Lee and Ian Buckle welcomed the HSRC and project researchers, and turned the meeting over to the HSRC co-chairs, Joanne Nigg and Joe Nicoletti. Members of the Highway Project Research Committee (HRC) provided overviews on each of the Year 1 and Year 2 research tasks in six technical sessions, and selected tasks were discussed in more detail by the respective task principal investigators. HRC member Maury Power introduced Session I on Seismic Hazard and Ground Motion; Ian Buckle led Session II on Performance Criteria, Structural Details, and Design Issues for existing construction; Geoff Martin introduced Sessions III and VI on Foundations and Soils for existing and new construction, respectively; Masanobu Shinozuka introduced Session IV on Analysis, Earthquake Protective Systems, Fragility, and Risk; and John Mander led Session V on Performance Criteria, Structural Details, and Design Issues for new construction.

An important aspect of the meeting was the presentation of the draft master plan on Project 106 by Ian Buckle. Project 106 consists of an interrelated series of tasks in each of the technical areas noted above. However, the final product of the project is intended to address the seismic vulnerability of all elements of the U.S. highway system as well as for the highway system as a complete network. The master plan attempts to provide a focus to each of the various tasks and individual research products into a three-volume seismic vulnerability and retrofitting manual. As presented by Ian Buckle, Volume I will cover the seismic risk analysis of highway systems, Volume II will cover the evaluation, assessment, and retrofit of highway bridges, and Volume III will contain the evaluation, assessment, and retrofit of tunnels, retaining structures, slopes and pavements.

During the discussion of the master plan with the HSRC, it became clear that Volume II is the most well developed at this time. New research tasks in Years 3 and 4 will concentrate on studies to address the issues important to Volumes I and III and for which limited guidance is currently available.

HSRC members and project researchers participated in technical breakout sessions to further the discussions on each of the Year 1 and Year 2 tasks on September 23, and initiated discussions on the preliminary research plan for Year 3. The HSRC broke into its two groups (Coordination Group and Technical Group) and met in executive session on Saturday morning, while the researchers continued to discuss and coordinate the various research tasks and approaches. Prior to adjournment at noon on Saturday, the HSRC co-chairs briefly reviewed the concerns and recommendations that the two HSRC groups would be formally submitting via their written reports on the meeting. Based on these reports, it appears that the Highway Project is on schedule and, for the most part, proceeding according to plan. The HSRC did, however, make a number of suggestions that should improve the overall focus of, and products resulting from, the project.


NCEER Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4, October 1994

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