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A comparative study between China and U.S. on seismic design philosophy and practice of a long span arch bridge

Xu Yan (徐 艳)1,2, George C. Lee1, Fan Lichu(范立础)3 and Hu Shide(胡世德)3

  1. Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14260, USA

  2. State Key Laboratory for Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

  3. Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Abstract: This paper presents the first of a series of case studies on the seismic design of long span bridges (cable-stayed bridges, suspension bridges and arch bridges) under a cooperative research project on seismic behavior and design of highway bridges between the State Key Laboratory for Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University and the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, University at Buffalo. The objective of this series of case studies is to examine the differences and similarities on the seismic design practice of long span bridges in China and the U.S., to identify research needs and to develop design guidelines beneficial to bridge engineers in both countries. Unlike short to medium span bridges, long span bridges are not included in most seismic design specifications, mainly because they are location dependent and structurally unique. In this paper, an available model of a steel tied half through arch bridge with a main span of 550m in China is discussed. Analysis is focused on comparisons of the seismic responses due to different ground motions. Seismic design criteria and seismic performance requirements for long span bridges in both countries were first introduced and compared, and then three near field earthquake records with large vertical components were selected as the excitations to examine the seismic behavior and seismic vulnerability of the bridge. Results show that (1) the selected near field ground motions cause larger responses to key components (critical sections) of the bridge (such as arch rib ends) with a maximum increase of more than twice those caused by the site specific ground motions; (2) piers, longitudinal girders and arch crowns are more vulnerable to vertical motions, especially their axial forces; and (3) large vertical components of near field ground motions may not significantly affect the bridge’s internal forces provided that their peak acceleration spectra ordinates only appear at periods of less than 0.2s. However, they may have more influence on the longitudinal displacements of sliding bearings due to their large displacement spectra ordinates at the fundamental period of the bridge.

Keywords: long span arch bridge; seismic design practise; seismic vulnerability; near field ground motion; vertical motion

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.