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ABC Bridge Undergoes Shake Test

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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In ongoing testing for accelerated bridge construction infrastructure options, Mehdi "Saiid" Saiidi, a civil engineering professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, is using data from a 1994 earthquake to conduct bridge shake tests.

The goal of ABC bridge construction is to develop earthquake-resistant precast bridge components while using data to inform guidelines for seismic design. The team is working on the research for the California Department of Transportation.

Bridge Shake Tests

The most recent batch of testing, which was conducted Oct. 5, dealt with a 70-foot-long, two-span model with six ABC connection types. The bridge shake test was carried out on a bi-axial shake table system at the university's Earthquake Engineering Lab, informed by data from an earthquake that occurred in 1994 in Northridge, California.

Components were assembled both on and off site; all were assembled on the shake tables. The goal of the testing earlier this month was to determine how 22 precast deck panels, connected using traverse joints, would perform. The bridge prototype is similar to bridges found in regions known for their earthquakes, Los Angeles being one of them.

"Many of the bridge parts were prefabricated in a factory in Northern California, and the columns are all built separately," Saiidi said.

Jared Jones, a graduate researcher who works under Saiidi, responsible for the design and execution of the bridge, noted that the span performed as expected.

"All of the components remained damage free,” Jones said. “We overdesign the columns so they take damage. They're cheaper than the span.”

According to the university, Saiidi and his team are this year’s winners of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute's Robert J. Lyman Award, an honor given to acknowledge the research that most contributes to the advancement of construction of precast concrete structures.

(The team’s paper, "Precast concrete spliced-girder bridge in Washington State using superelastic materials in bridge columns to improve seismic resiliency: From research to practice,” was published by PCI.)


Tagged categories: Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC); Bridges; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Prefabrication; Program/Project Management; Research and development; Testing + Evaluation

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