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Bridges -- Design and construction -- Environmental aspects, Bridge failures, Engineering -- Experiments, Hurricanes -- Environmental aspects


Many bridges along the Gulf Coast of the United States were damaged by recent hurricanes, and many more are susceptible to similar damage. This research examines the structural performance of common connection details used to anchor prestressed concrete girders to the substructure. Full-scale specimens were fabricated and tested under static and dynamic cyclic load histories. Dynamic load histories were developed from previously conducted hydraulic tests of a 1/5 scale model of a highway bridge under hurricane wave loads. The load effects considered included the pseudo-statically applied vertical uplift force, horizontal force, combined horizontal and vertical forces, and dynamically applied combined horizontal and vertical forces. This research describes the structural performance of the details under these loading conditions, provides improved understanding of connection performance, and enables better design details for new bridge construction and for rehabilitation of existing bridges to resist hurricane loads to produce surface transportation infrastructure that is more resilient to natural hazards.


This is a final report, OTREC-RR-12-05, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:

The project brief can be found here:



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