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U.S.—Italy Workshop on Seismic Protective Systems for Bridges

The U.S.-Italy Workshop on Seismic Protective Systems for Bridges was held at Columbia University in New York City on April 27 and 28, 1998. The workshop was attended by 12 Italian and 27 U.S. participants. The workshop was organized by MCEER under the MCEER Highway Project. Financial sponsorship on the U.S.-side was provided by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration; similar sponsorship for the Italian side was provided by the National Group for Defense Against Earthquakes (GNDT) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). Columbia University was a co-sponsor of the workshop and provided important logistical and operational support.

The workshop consisted of brief presentations of 13 U.S. and 11 Italian papers which focused on research and the application of seismic protective systems for bridges, and the state-of-the-art and practice in bridge seismic isolation and energy dissipation in the two countries. Presentations were also made on the related subjects of application of active control systems and the use of advanced composites for bridge seismic retrofitting. The presentations were intended to provide an overview of recent developments in each country. Discussions were held on each major topic as well as on the comparison of and differences between design philosophies and practices in each country; and written guidelines and standards, and codes of practice currently in use in the two countries.

Workshop participants suggested that both Italy and the U.S. are at the forefront in international developments and the application of seismic protective systems for bridges. Participants, and particularly invited observers from State transportation agencies and the bridge engineering community, were pleased to learn of these developments and applications.

Due to rapid advancements currently being made in the development and application of seismic protective systems technologies, it was agreed that a continuing dialog and exchange of information between the U.S. and Italy on seismic protective systems for bridges should continue and that a second workshop should be organized in Italy in the near future. While this first workshop provided a common basis of comparison, the second workshop will concentrate on specific applications and topics of direct use to practitioners, including design philosophy and standardization of practice and codes.

The workshop was preceded by a tour of interesting bridge rehabilitation projects around the New York City area on April 26, 1998. The tour was arranged and hosted by Dr. Bojidar Yanev, Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.

The U.S. Steering Committee for the workshop consisted of Dr. Michael Constantinou, State University of New York at Buffalo, chair; Dr. Frieder Seible, University of California at San Diego; Mr. Tom Post, California Department of Transportation; and Mr. Ian M. Friedland, MCEER.

The Italian-side organizers and Steering Committee consisted of Dr. Paolo E. Pinto, UniversitÓ di Roma "La Sapienza" and Dr. Gian Michele Calvi, UniversitÓ Degli Studi di Pavia.

Dr. Raimondo Betti of Columbia University was instrumental in the success of the workshop through his help and efforts in organizing and making arrangements for the use of the facilities provided by Columbia University. Proceedings are currently being prepared by MCEER, and are scheduled for publication by the end of 1998.


MCEER Bulletin, Summer 1998, Vol. 12, No. 2

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