2018-08

Primarily constructed at the turn of the 20th century, over 1600 masonry arch bridges continue to serve as part of the U.S. transportation infrastructure. The preservation of these bridges is important for not only their role in the transportation network but also their cultural and architectural value. For successful preservation, the stewards of these historical bridges must be equipped with tools to evaluate the bridge vulnerability to extreme events and to make risk-aware decisions about their preservation and maintenance. To this end, focusing specifically on earthquakes, the current study presents a framework to calculate seismic risk indices for masonry arch bridges in the U.S. The risk indices are estimated first by developing non-linear finite element models and next by using those models to conduct fragility analysis under seismic excitation. The framework presented herein, if implemented for all site-appropriate hazard scenarios, can aid in the development of retrofitting strategies that will minimize risk, reduce financial loss, and ensure the preservation of the historically valuable bridges.

Methodology for generating fragility curves using non-linear time history analysis

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
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