Seismic Retrofit Of Bridges; Geotechnical Design Considerations And Case History

Mohammad, Aly M.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
State and federal agencies during rehabilitation of existing bridges may require the existing bridges to be evaluated under seismic conditions. If the bridge does not perform under the seismic event, the bridge may require seismic retrofitting. Bridges are classified as: Critical, Essential, and Others according to their importance. Geotechnical considerations play a major role in evaluating the bridge behavior under a seismic event. Subsurface conditions influence the magnitude of ground acceleration and hence the forces and moments on the superstructure. This paper will provide a detailed description of the geotechnical aspects associated with the seismic retrofit evaluation for the 12th Street and 14th Street Viaducts located in Jersey City, New Jersey. The paper will also present a description of the geotechnical investigation program including seismic cross-hole surveys to determine the dynamic soil parameters, including the results of site-specific response spectra for both the 475 and 2475-year events. Liquefaction assessment methodology utilizing an equivalent factor of safety will also be described and the design method used will be summarized. In general, the pile foundation is modeled as 6x6 foundation stiffness matrix with 36 stiffness coefficients at the center of the pile cap. The seismic loading on the foundation is evaluated in a pseudo-static analysis, where the dynamic earthquake-induced loads are presented by static forces and moments. The computer program FB Pier was used to evaluate the foundation stiffness. The moments, axial loads, and shear are input into the FB Pier model. The stiffness of the foundation is determined and the results are then input into the Structural model to determine new forces and displacements. Adjustments are made until the loads are compatible with the stiffness used. The understanding of the geotechnical conditions at the 12th Street and 14th Street Viaducts and the coordination between the Bridge and Geotechnical Engineers were able to provide significant cost saving to the Owner. The Design Engineers were able to retrofit the existing Viaduct foundations with reasonable number of additional piles. It is believed that the results and finding presented in this paper will benefit both the Bridge Engineers and Geotechnical Engineers by highlighting the importance of interaction between the two disciplines.
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