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Project Advisory Panel Meets in Buffalo to Review Progress on the Development of Multiple-Hazard Design Principles for Highway Bridges

Participants of the FHWA Project Advisory Panel are shown meeting in Buffalo on April 20, 2012.

Participants of Project Advisory Panel Meeting: shown from left are Dean Goodison, John Kulicki, Thomas Murphy, W. Phillip Yen, Chao Huang, Harry Capers, Jr., George C. Lee, Zach Liang, Jerome S. O'Connor, Ken Avery, Jerry Shen and Rajesh Taneja.

MCEER hosted an Advisory Panel meeting for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded project entitled “Development of Multiple-Hazard Design Principles for Highway Bridges” on April 20, 2012 in Buffalo, NY. The research team is investigating the feasibility of establishing a uniform, reliability-based framework to address multiple extreme events in a design guideline that could eventually be incorporated into the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification. Currently, bridge design reliability is checked for various natural hazards using different approaches, but they are considered independently of one another. This results in loadings with different return periods, with levels of reliability that vary according to the hazard.

Participants included Ken Avery, P.E., Bergmann Associates, PC; Harry Capers, Jr., P.E., Arora and Associates, PC; Dean Goodison, P.E., Bergmann Associates, PC; Chao Huang, Ph.D., University at Buffalo; John Kulicki, Ph.D., P.E., Modjeski and Masters, Inc.; George C. Lee, Ph.D., University at Buffalo (PI); Zach Liang, Ph.D., University at Buffalo; Thomas Murphy, Ph.D., P.E., Modjeski and Masters, Inc.; Jerome S. O’Connor, P.E., University at Buffalo; Jerry Shen, Ph.D., Transportation Infrastructure Safety Consultants; Rajesh Taneja, P.E., New York State Department of Transportation; and W. Phillip Yen, Ph.D., (COTR) Federal Highway Administration.

The $3 million project includes several other related research tasks. For example, transportation system performance and emergency traffic management are being assessed under multiple hazard scenarios, with an emphasis on the impact on freight shipments. In another effort, the research team is collaborating with the Institute of Engineering Mechanics of the China Earthquake Administration and the NYSDOT to develop a device that can be used to monitor bridge deterioration.

The project also has a major education component. AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures has been advising the University at Buffalo in the development of practical courses as part of the implementation of a master’s degree in Bridge Engineering program. A series of lectures by prestigious individuals selected to participate in a Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series have been recorded and will be available on DVD. Several bridge engineering textbooks are also in preparation. These will be made available to faculty at other universities who wish to include this material in their curriculum.

The project is expected to be completed in September 2013.