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Seismic Retrofitting of Highway Bridges

As part of its Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) series, NCEER will offer a short course on the "Seismic Retrofitting of Highway Bridges" in April, 1998 at a location to be determined. This course is based on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines which were updated by NCEER under contract to FHWA. The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the issues of preliminary screening, detailed evaluation, and retrofit measures for highway bridges, with an emphasis on bridges in moderate and low seismic hazard regions. Attendees can expect to learn about the behavior of bridges in earthquakes and methods for improving this performance. Emphasis will be placed on older bridges that are typical of the inventory in the central and eastern U.S.

Specific topics to be discussed include seismic hazard in the central and eastern U.S., seismic performance of bridges, preliminary screening and ranking of bridges, detailed evaluation using both the capacity/demand method and the push-over method, retrofitting strategies for bearings, joints, columns, foundations and soils. Attention will also be given to the use of earthquake protective systems such as seismic isolation and energy dissipators.

This course is intended for design and construction engineers from departments of transportation and consultants in the private sector who have an interest in seismic retrofitting. The length of the course is 2-1/2 days, with an optional field tour tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of the third day. Dr. Ian Buckle, former deputy director of NCEER, is the principal course instructor.

For additional information, watch NCEER's web site at:, or contact Andrea Dargush, phone: (716) 645-3391; fax: (716) 645-3399; email:


NCEER Bulletin, October 1997, Vol. 11, No. 4

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