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Seismic damage of highway bridges during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

  • Qiang HanEmail author
  • Xiuli Du
  • Jingbo Liu
  • Zhongxian Li
  • Liyun Li
  • Jianfeng Zhao
Article

Abstract

Many highway bridges were severely damaged or completely collapsed during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. A field investigation was carried out in the strongly affected areas and over 320 bridges were examined. Damage to some representative highway bridges is briefly described and a preliminary analysis of the probable causes of the damage is presented in this paper. The most common damage included shear-flexural failure of the pier columns, expansion joint failure, shear key failure, and girder sliding in the transversal or longitudinal directions due to weak connections between girder and bearings. Lessons learned from this earthquake are described and recommendations related to the design of curved and skewed bridges, design of bearings and devices to prevent girder collapse, and ductility of bridge piers are presented. Suggestions for future seismic design and retrofitting techniques for bridges in moderate to severe earthquake areas are also proposed.

Keywords

Wenchuan earthquake seismic damage seismic design highway bridge field investigation 

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Copyright information

© Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Han
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Xiuli Du
    • 1
  • Jingbo Liu
    • 2
  • Zhongxian Li
    • 3
  • Liyun Li
    • 1
  • Jianfeng Zhao
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Lab. of Urban Security & Disaster Engineering of MOEBeijing University of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Civil EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.College of Civil EngineeringQingdao Technological UniversityQingdaoChina
  5. 5.College of Civil EngineeringBeijing University of TechnologyBeijingChina

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