Seismic Design of Concrete Bridges

March 5, 2021

In September 2020,  we hosted a webinar, “How I Design Bridges : Seismic Design of Concrete Bridges" by Kyle Turner, P.E. from Michael Baker International.

He presented the lesson about Seismic Design of Concrete Bridges. There are differences between building a new bridge and widening or replacing an existing bridge. When you build a new bridge, there are more alternative options and fewest constraints. When you widen the bridge, the widen structure needs to meet current design standards and match the existing bridge's behavior. You also need to be aware of the existing structure analysis and the potential retrofit necessity. When you replace a bridge, you need to pay attention to construction staging, existing structure stability, potential overbuild, and temporary existing utility realignments. Kyle Turner will explain the challenges of bridge projects which engineers may face based on different conditions. He will present the I-10 Design/Build Corridor Express Lanes Project, which involves a precast and prestressed bridge with a unique integral seismic bent connection. The project will lead to the objectives of seismic analyses, response spectrum analysis for determining longitudinal & transverse displacement demand, and pushover analysis for determining longitudinal & transverse displacement & ductility capacity.




Key Points


1. Seismic Design Overview

1.1 Bridge Category

1.2 Philosophy

  • Capacity Protected Elements
  • Earthquake Resisting Elements
  • Sacrificial Elements

1.3 Analysis

  • Demand
  • Capacity


2. Project Example: Vineyard Ave OC (Replace) over I-10

2.1 Challenges

2.2 Bent Connection

2.3 Midas Seismic Models

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About the author
Kyle Turner | Bridge Engineer & Rope Access Technician | Michael Baker International

Kyle Turner, P.E., is a Bridge Engineer at Michael Baker International (Ontario, CA). An experienced leader, communicator, and technical problem solver, Kyle has a diverse set of professional experiences. Kyle began his engineering career with an M.S. Structural Engineering from U.C. San Diego, including laboratory research and coursework. In Kyle's first professional industry role, he spent 2.5 years designing the Atlantic Crossing of the Panama Canal, a world-record-setting PC/PS concrete segmental box-girder cable-stayed bridge.

He experienced in analyzing existing structure seismic performance, design and plan development of the widened structure, and 3D finite element analysis, seismic design, abutment and bent foundation and pile connection design, cost estimates, development of design-build pursuit deliverable.

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