Bridge Design for Earthquake Fault Crossings: Synthesis of Design Issues and Strategies

Recently completed research on the design of fault crossings needs to be best implemented by Caltrans. In 2008, University of California (UC) Berkeley completed a Caltrans sponsored research project "Analysis of Ordinary Bridges Crossing Fault Rupture Zones (EERC 2008-01)". This research produced three methods of combining the fault offset displacement with the ground shaking displacement for bridge design. Caltrans now requires an independent evaluation of the three methods as well as procedures and example problems for their use in bridge design. The objective of this research is to provide bridge designers with a simple method for designing fault crossings without having to perform a time history analysis. Recently completed research has provided three methods for combining ground shaking displacements with fault offset displacements. Caltrans now needs to know which procedure should be used in what situation and how it should be implemented. Caltrans currently has about 100 bridges that cross active faults. Caltrans is building new fault crossings every year. A time history analysis is too cumbersome for the design of ordinary bridges that cross faults. Caltrans has funded research to provide simpler methods for the seismic design of fault crossings. Caltrans is anxious to have an independent evaluation of these new methods as well as criteria and examples for their use. This research is crucial for protecting Caltrans' highways during earthquakes. No earthquake hazard is as devastating as fault rupture. During the May 12, 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China, bridges often survived ground shaking but they seldom survived a large fault offset under the bridge. This research will be immediately deployed for the design of new bridges that cross faults and for the retrofit of existing fault crossings. The research meets the Department's Goals: (1) Improved methods to assess the performance and condition of existing transportation structures: Immediately identify fault crossings that are at risk from collapse; and (2)Seismic Analysis and Design Tools, Techniques, and Methods: Easy to use method for combining ground shaking and fault offset displacements.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      California Department of Transportation

      1227 O Street
      Sacramento, CA  United States  95843
    • Project Managers:

      Keever, Mike

    • Principal Investigators:

      Goel, Rakeshi

    • Start Date: 20110713
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • Source Data: RiP Project 28780

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01465950
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: California Department of Transportation
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:08PM