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Project Team:


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering;
University at Buffalo (716) 645-2469




PEER, University of California, Berkeley

Project Duration:

24 months

Development of LRFD-based Unified Analysis and Design Guidelines for Bridge Bearings and Seismic Isolators for use in Service and/or Seismic Applications

The objective of this research is to develop specifications for analysis and design of bridge bearings and seismic isolation bearings and damping devices that are based on LRFD philosophy and unified fundamental principles, and are applied by the same procedures regardless of whether the application is for seismic isolation or for conventional construction. In addition, design examples should be developed to illustrate the application of the specifications.

The analysis and design of bridge bearings (elastomeric and sliding) is currently based on the Caltrans Memo to Designers 7-1, “Bridge Bearings,” 1994. The memo follows the paradigm of AASHTO Specifications, which are based on unfactored design loads and primarily use stress calculations to assess adequacy. The analysis and design of seismic isolators (elastomeric and sliding) is currently based on the AASHTO “Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation Design,” 1999, which again are based on unfactored design loads. These specifications also make use of more contemporary theories for assessing adequacy of elastomeric bearings using strains rather than stresses.

The project is envisioned as a continuation of Caltrans-funded project “Performance of Isolators and Dampers under Service and Seismic Loadings," which was completed at the University at Buffalo on December 31, 2006. The work proposed in this problem statement should result in a comprehensive collection of knowledge on the lifetime behavior of bridge bearings and isolators under service and seismic loadings, unified analysis and adequacy assessment procedures for bearings for isolated and for conventional bridges, and LRFD-based procedures.

MCEER Report

LRFD-Based Analysis and Design Procedures for Bridge Bearings and Seismic Isolators, M.C. Constantinou, I. Kalpakidis, A. Filiatrault and R.A. Ecker Lay; MCEER-11-0004; 9/26/2011; 270 pages; $35