Understanding of Bridge Vulnerability to Climate Change Enables Pro-active Adaptation Measures

In the past few decades, climate change has been leading to more severe extreme weather (e.g., hurricanes and heat waves), quicker sea-level rise, and more frequent flooding in coastal regions. Bridges in coastal regions are vulnerable to hurricanes, sea-level rise, and flooding. To mitigate these threats, to increase the resilience of bridges, and to take pro-active adaptation measures, the overarching goal of this research project is to understand the vulnerability of highway bridges to climate change. This will inform decision-makers when they develop near-term measures and long-term plans for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. To achieve this research goal, the following three research tasks have been planned: (1) Investigate all actions of a hurricane on a highway bridge by including waves, winds and water in the computational domain through multi-phase multi-physics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, with the consideration of wind-wave interaction; (2) Determining the failure modes of the bridge system by considering loading induced by all factors, including wind pressure from winds, wave surge from waves, and varying hydrostatic force from flooding; and (3) Model structural vulnerability of bridges with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution by considering future climate change. The obtained results can be used to improve the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) code periodically to accommodate the future climate change, enhancing the resilience of bridges.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $170,000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mid-America Transportation Center

    University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    2200 Vine Street, PO Box 830851
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0851
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla

    Department of Engineering
    202 University Center
    Rolla, MO    65409
  • Principal Investigators:

    Yan, Guirong

  • Start Date: 20210101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20211231
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Source Data: RiP Project 91994-87

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01762015
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747107
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 7 2021 1:44PM