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Seismic Vulnerability of New Highway Construction Project Concludes

In 1992, MCEER commenced work on a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project entitled "Seismic Vulnerability of New Highway Construction." The objective was to perform a series of special studies related to the seismic vulnerability of highway bridges, tunnels, and retaining structures, in order to develop technical information on which new seismic design specifications could be based in the future. It is anticipated that current specifications for the seismic design of bridges will be revised, and that new seismic design guidelines will be prepared for other highway system components, in part on the basis of this work.

Research Areas and Tasks
The results of the research from this project are intended to provide the basis for developing new design criteria and specifications, particularly for highway bridges. Secondary products resulting from this work include task and synthesis reports describing the advances made in design for bridges and other highway transportation systems and components. Many of these reports address important issues that should be considered during the development of future seismic design codes; some provide design procedures and discuss computer programs that will be useful as design aids to the profession; and others provide background information and research documentation. An independent assessment of the results and potential impacts of these studies was performed, and the results are presented in Impact Assessment of Selected MCEER Highway Project Research on the Seismic Design of Highway Structures, MCEER 99-0009 (see report review on page 11). A list of all reports produced under this project, organized by subject, is provided below.

Future Work and Research Implementation
It is anticipated that much of this work will be considered in future design specification development work. Specifically, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), sponsored by AASHTO and coordinated by ATC and MCEER, initiated NCHRP Project 12-49, "Development of Comprehensive Bridge Specifications and Commentary" in the fall of 1998. The objective of NCHRP Project 12-49 is to develop new bridge seismic design specifications, commentary, and design examples, which will be incorporated into the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications in the near future. Much of the basis for the specification changes that will be made in NCHRP Project 12-49 are expected to be drawn from the results of the work conducted under this FHWA contract.

The work on this contract was conducted by MCEER. Ian G. Buckle was the project principal investigator and Ian M. Friedland was the project manager. MCEER was assisted by the following key subcontract institutions: the University at Buffalo, the Applied Technology Council, Brigham Young University, Dynamic Isolation Systems Inc., Earth Mechanics Inc., Geomatrix Consultants Inc., Imbsen & Associates Inc., Modjeski and Masters Consulting Engineers, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Nevada Reno, and the University of Southern California.


Reports Produced During Project

Seismic Hazard, Exposure, Bridge Performance, and Structural Importance

Structural Analysis, Design and Response

Foundations and Soil—Structure Interaction

Liquefaction and Soil Behavior

* Indicates unpublished reports.


NCEER Bulletin, Summer 1999, Vol. 13, No. 3

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