Peter Dusicka

Date of Award

Winter 2-13-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (xxv, 363 pages)


Bridges -- Retrofitting -- Evaluation, Buckling (Mechanics), Reinforced concrete -- Earthquake effects -- Testing, Earthquake resistant design, Subduction zones




Typical reinforced concrete (RC) bridges built prior to 1970 were designed with minimum seismic consideration, leaving numerous bridges highly susceptible to damage following an earthquake. In order to improve the seismic behavior of substandard RC bridges, this study presents the seismic performance of reinforced concrete bridge bents retrofitted and repaired using Buckling-Restrained Braces (BRBs) while considering subduction zone earthquake demands. In order to reflect displacement demands from subduction ground motions, research studies were conducted to develop quasi-static loading protocols and then investigate their effect on structural bridge damage. Results suggested that subduction loading protocols may reduce the displacement ductility capacity of RC bridge columns and change their failure mode. The cyclic performance of reinforced concrete bridge bents retrofitted and repaired using BRBs was experimentally evaluated using large-scale specimens and the developed loading histories. Three BRB specimens were evaluated with the aim of assessing the influence of these components on the overall performance of the retrofitted and repaired bents. Additionally, subassemblage tests were conducted in an effort to study the response of these elements and to allow for refined nonlinear characterization in the analysis of the retrofitted and repaired systems. The results of the large-scale experiments and analytical studies successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of utilizing buckling-restrained braces for achieving high displacement ductility of the retrofitted and repaired structures, while also controlling the damage of the existing vulnerable reinforced concrete bent up to an operational performance level.

Persistent Identifier