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Research Activities: 2004
Assessment of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge Based on Seismic Instrumentation Data
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Matching Research Agency
Missouri Transportation Institute/Missouri Department of Transportation
One graduate research assistant and maybe one undergraduate student will be involved in this project.
The objectives of the proposed work are to create a database of ground motions at the Bill Emerson Memorial Cable-stayed Bridge site and to verify the assumptions made in the structural design of the Bridge. The approach taken to verify the design assumptions is to develop a well-calibrated nonlinear Finite Element Model (FEM) of the cable-stayed bridge, and to study the behavior and load path of the bridge structure.
The proposed project will be conducted in one year, including the modeling and responses of a bridge system. To achieve the objectives above, the following tasks are proposed.
There are a significant number of long-span bridges near the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), including the Bill-Emerson Memorial Cable-stayed Bridge over the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, southeast Missouri. In addition, new river-crossing bridges are being designed including the new Mississippi River Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of these bridges are subjected to direct threats from the NMSZ. Out of service of these bridges due to earthquake-induced failure will not only cause traffic congestion in region but also sever the nation's ground transportation link along the corridor from California to New York. The public perception to any of these potential incidences is significant.
This study will help understand the level of design earthquakes in the Central United States, the appropriateness of various assumptions used in structural design, and the seismic behavior of the Bill Emerson Memorial Cable-stayed Bridge. It will also help identify key information for inspection and structural evaluation of the bridge during its service life or after a strong earthquake event in the future. In particular, it provides necessary tools to realize the objectives of the current seismic instrumentation project that has been in operation since October 2004.
This study will not only provide the critical information for routine design of bridges but also the necessary tools for future structural condition evaluation so that a proper warning for abnormal behavior of the bridge can be issued on time and appropriate measures can be taken to avoid any potential catastrophic failure in the event of a severe earthquake (stronger than the design earthquake).
Relationship to other Research/Projects
UMR Earthquake Hazards Mitigation Project.
Technology Transfer Activities
Transportation Research Board Keywords
Bridge Assessment, Computer Modeling