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Seismic response of skewed RC box-girder bridges

Ahmed Abdel-Mohti and Gokhan Pekcan

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Nevada Reno

Abstract: It is critical to ensure the functionality of highway bridges after earthquakes to provide access to important facilities. Since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, there has been a better understanding of the seismic performance of bridges. Nonetheless, there are no detailed guidelines addressing the performance of skewed highway bridges. Several parameters affect the response of skewed highway bridges under both service and seismic loads which makes their behavior complex. Therefore, there is a need for more research to study the effect of skew angle and other related factors on the performance of highway bridges. This paper examines the seismic performance of a three-span continuous concrete box girder bridge with skew angles from 0 to 60 degrees, analytically. Finite element (FE) and simplified beam-stick (BS) models of the bridge were developed using SAP2000. Different types of analysis were considered on both models such as: nonlinear static pushover, and linear and nonlinear time history analyses. A comparison was conducted between FE and BS, different skew angles, abutment support conditions, and time history and pushover analysis. It is shown that the BS model has the capability to capture the coupling due to skew and the significant modes for moderate skew angles. Boundary conditions and pushover load profile are determined to have a major effect on pushover analysis. Pushover analysis may be used to predict the maximum deformation and hinge formation adequately.

Keywords: skew bridge; seismic response; pushover analysis; time history analysis; modeling

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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.