Seismic Vulnerability of the National Highway System
MCEER Awarded New 6-Year Contract by FHWA
MCEER was recently awarded a new 6-year, $10.8 million contract by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct research on the seismic vulnerability of the national highway system (see web site announcement at http://mceer.buffalo.edu/outreach/pr/fhwa.html). This new effort is intended to draw on and extend the work being conducted under the current FHWA-sponsored contracts in the MCEER Highway Project.
The current projects are primarily focused on the seismic design and retrofitting of typical highway bridges found throughout the United States. The new contract, which was awarded on September 30, 1998, will focus on several special issues considered to be critical to the future of the nations highway transportation infrastructure. The research will address:
Development of formal loss estimation methodologies for highway systems. This research will extend work currently being done by MCEER on the development of a seismic risk assessment methodology for highway systems.
Development of a seismic design and retrofitting manual for long span bridges, which will include long span trusses, suspension, and cable-stayed bridges. The current research is developing a series of seismic retrofitting manuals for application to typical highway bridges and structures (retaining structures, slopes, tunnels, culverts, and pavements).
Development or improvements for "smart" or "intelligent" earthquake protective systems, including bearings and dampers, specialty materials, and other passive and hybrid semi-active systems.
Special studies related to foundation design and soil behavior and response, including large pile group behavior, long period ground motions, and improvements in ground remediation technologies.
The project will also address a series of special studies, including the development of post-earthquake nondestructive assessment technologies for retrofitted bridge components, support for NCHRP Project 12-49 which is developing a new seismic design specification for highway bridges, and instrumenting the Cape Girardeau cable-stayed bridge, which is currently under construction, to record seismic free field and structural response data.
MCEERs George Lee is the project principal investigator and Ian Friedland is the project manager. Other key project team members include Ian Buckle, University of Nevada at Reno; Ron Eguchi, EQE International; John Mander, University at Buffalo; Geoffrey Martin, University of Southern California; and Charles Seim, T Y Lin International.
MCEER Bulletin, Winter 1999, Vol. 13, No. 1