Data-Driven Assessment of Post-Earthquake Bridge Functionality and Regional Mobility

The earthquake performance of bridges is critical to the post-event mobility of nearly all transportation modes, including bicycle, automobile, truck, bus, and rail. Damage to bridges near critical facilities, such as airports and ports, can also limit the contributions of these facilities to the post-event mobility of people and freight. Accordingly, local, state, and federal engineers and emergency managers need reliable estimates of post-event bridge functionality in order to plan pre-event mitigation, post-event response and mobility, and long-term recovery. Current estimates of post-earthquake bridge functionality following a Magnitude 9 (M9) Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake (e.g., DHS 2019) are grossly inadequate. The few existing evaluations that have been performed for such an event have been overly simple, resulting in predictions so conservative that they are of little utility (i.e., nearly all bridges are predicted to be out of service for months and years following an M9 earthquake). Moreover, these evaluations have not accounted for the region’s unique geologic conditions, including the presence of deep sedimentary basins that underlie most of the Puget Sound, and they have also neglected differences between bridges built in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. The goal of this project is to predict the post-earthquake functionality of bridges in Oregon and Washington following a CSZ M9 earthquake. This will be achieved by utilizing large, new datasets and numerically intensive simulation strategies that are now possible due to recent advances in high-performance computing. The project will also evaluate the likelihood that key highway lifeline corridors will be available to support post-earthquake mobility. The results of this project could be used in a follow-up project that considered post-earthquake route demands and capacities to formally assess network mobility. The methodologies developed in this research could also be applied to Alaska and British Columbia.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $360000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700
  • Project Managers:

    Motter, Christopher J.

  • Performing Organizations:

    Washington State University, Pullman

    Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
    PO Box 642910
    Pullman, WA  United States  99164-2910

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
    201 More Hall, Box 352700
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700
  • Principal Investigators:

    Phillips, Adam R

    Eberhard, Marc

    Berman, Jeffrey

    Maurer, Brett

  • Start Date: 20200816
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220815
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763325
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747110
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 3 2021 3:21PM