Development of a Database Framework for Modeling Damaged Bridges

G.C. Lee, J.C. Qi and C. Huang

MCEER-13-0009 | 06/16/2013 | 134 pages

Keywords: earthquakes, bridges, Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) factors, extreme hazard, multi-hazard, resilience

Abstract: A bridge can fail for many reasons, including internal causes (design errors, material defects or aging, insufficient capacity, construction errors, etc.) and external causes (extreme events such as earthquake, scour, flood, wind, vessel collision, fire, etc.). Although there are several existing information sources such as the NYSDOT databases, as well as other collected or summarized reports on bridge damage and failures, they do not contain enough information to provide a fundamental basis for further improvement of the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) specification for bridges. Thus, this study was carried out to establish a framework for the eventual development of a comprehensive database of damaged bridges (DDB) based on bridge damage information available in the open literature. The proposed database framework described herein integrates current existing bridge information sources with new information to provide a uniform database to use for modeling damaged bridges. The database includes the following information: bridge design information (design documents, construction, drawings, etc.); environmental (geographical and weather) conditions; hazards information and traffic conditions; bridge damage and loss information (damage positions and damage modes, etc.) and economic and environmental impacts.  As expected, most of this information is not available, certainly in quantitative terms. Furthermore, in addition to the lack of quantitative descriptions of bridge damage (failures and partial failures), the condition of the bridge at the time of failure is almost non-existent in the documented information/database. This latter information is relevant in damage modeling of bridges. Therefore, the database software described in this report should be regarded as a framework for further refinements, especially in the areas of quantitative information regarding damage and estimated bridge condition at the time of failure.