The Influence of the Recommended LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway Bridges on Virginia Bridges

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Virginia Tech


The influence of the recommended LRFD Guidelines for the seismic design of highway bridges in Virginia was investigated by analyzing two existing bridges. The first bridge has prestressed concrete girders and is located in the Richmond area. The second bridge has steel girders and is located in the Bristol area. The analysis procedure for both bridges is similar. First the material and section properties were calculated. Then the bridge was modeled in RISA 3D. Live and dead load were imposed on the bridge to calculate the cracked section properties of the bridge. The period of vibration of the bridge was also calculated. After the soil class of the bridge was determined, the design response spectrum curve of the bridge was drawn. The spectral acceleration obtained from the design spectrum curve was used to calculate the equivalent earthquake loads, which were applied to the superstructure of the bridge to obtain the earthquake load effects. Live and dead loads were also applied to get the live and dead load effects. The combined effects of the dead, live and earthquake loads were compared to the interaction diagram of the columns and moment strength of the columns. The details of the bridge design were also checked with the corresponding seismic design requirement.A parametric study was performed to explore the effects of different column heights and superstructure heights in different parts of Virginia. The column longitudinal reinforcing was increased to satisfy the bridge axial loads and moments that are not within the column interaction diagram.



cracked section properties, bridge parametric studies, soil classes, design response spectrum curves, pier cap beam moment strengths, steel girder bridges, bridge periods of vibration, column interaction diagrams, equivalent earthquake loads, prestressed concrete girder bridges, bridge construction costs