Development of Effective Multihazard Seismic Blast Design Guidelines

There is increased awareness toward vulnerabilities due to blast and other accidental damage to highway bridges since the September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center(WTC) in New York. The recent collapse of the I-35 Bridge in Minnesota, on August 1, 2007, has demonstrated the psychological, societal and economic impacts of the collapse of bridges in urban areas. Recently, the principal investigator (PI) carried out an extensive investigation on blast load effects on highway bridges, to develop multi-hazard blast-seismic correlations by investigating blast effects on the same type of bridge designed for different levels of seismic resistance. It has been observed that a bridge designed for better seismic resistance is capable of withstanding a large magnitude of blast pressures. One very significant outcome of this research has been the identification of various failure modes during blast loads and their correlations with seismic failure modes. This information can be utilized to develop guidelines that can prevent the occurrence of catastrophic failure modes by optimizing detailing for both seismic and blast loads. The objectives of the proposed research are to be achieved through numerical simulation of blast loads on a typical three span highway bridge model. It should be noted that a recent National Cooperative Highway Research Program report (NCHRP 645, Williamson et al. 2010) has presented guidelines on the blast resistant design of bridges that is likely to be adopted by NCHRP. However, there is very limited information on the effectiveness of these guidelines. To investigate their effectiveness, as presented in NCHRP 645, this research will use high fidelity numerical simulations. The proposed work is important and urgently needed for designing the multi-hazard aspects of highway bridges. The proposed research will be carried out by the PI, Professor Anil K. Agrawal. Doctor Mohammed Ettouney, Principal of Applied Research at Weidlinder Associates, New York, and Doctor Sreenivas Alampalli, Director of Bridge Program and Evaluation Services Bureau at the New York State Department of Transportation will be members of the advisory committee, to evaluate research work, progress and reports. The outcome of this project will provide necessary tools on the design of blast resistant highway bridges that engineers and departments of transportation (DOTs) decision makers across the country can use.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $187425.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Project Managers:

    Kamga, Camille

    Eickemeyer, Penny

  • Performing Organizations:

    City College of New York

    Civil Engineering, Steinman T-127
    140th Street and Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Principal Investigators:

    Agrawal, Anil

  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 29254

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467857
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49111-26-23
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:40PM