MCEER SLC Student Guidebook 

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The MCEER Highway Project

(FHWA-Sponsored Research)


Improving the seismic performance and reliability of the nations' highway system is the overall aim of MCEER's Highway Project.  The project was initiated in the fall of 1992 with two Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contracts totaling more than $14 million.  In 1998, MCEER received an additional 6-year, $10.8 million FHWA contract to expand on work that began in 1992.   Research is augmented by additional contracts from FHWA and other agencies.


The project uniquely examines the impact of earthquakes on the highway system as an integrated network, rather than a collection of individual roads, bridges, embankments, tunnels, etc.  Projects seek to ensure the usability of highways following earthquakes, by improving performance of all interconnected components.


Overall goals are to improve understanding of the seismic hazards to highways and to improve and develop analysis methods, screening procedures and additional tools, retrofit technologies, design criteria, and other approaches to reduce seismic vulnerability of existing and future highway infrastructure. Studies examine:


Seismic hazards and ground motion

Soils and foundations

Structural systems and components

Performance criteria

Analysis and design issues

Intelligent and protective systems


In total, MCEER highway research involves more than 40 investigators from over 20 institutions throughout the United States.  More information on the Highway Project and its tasks can be found on the MCEER website.

Under the terms of MCEER’s contract with FHWA, quarterly reports on the progress of research tasks and a summary of the year’s activities are required.  Therefore, if you work on a highway project, you will need to prepare quarterly and annual reports with the guidance of your PI (your faculty advisor).


MCEER SLC Student Guidebook 

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