Seismic Performance and Design of Bridges With Curve and Skew

Horizontal curve and skew generally are not preferred in seismic design. The eccentricity and other irregularities associated with curve and skew introduce complex force effects during earthquakes. Special design considerations for structural elements, joints, and bearings are needed to accommodate such force effects and to prevent undesirable failure mechanisms. Existing seismic provisions for bridges provide very limited help for curved or skewed bridges. Bridges with light curve and skew are designed as straight bridges. Piecewise information on special considerations and requirements is provided for designing structural elements or subsystems of bridges with greater irregularities. As structural systems and materials become more efficient and site restraint more stringent, the demand for reliable seismic design on bridges with various degrees of curve and skew become imminent. The Office of Infrastructures R&D, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), recently completed a thorough testing on a full-scale curved girder steel bridge model in support of revising of the provisions on curved steel girders in AASHTO LRFD Specifications. The Virginia Transportation Research Council conducted shaker testing on the same model to identify its dynamic properties in different stages of construction. Corresponding numerical models were produced and calibrated for convenience of continuing research. Seismic performance studies on curved and skewed bridges have been carried out on this basis. This paper presents the progress and results of a FHWA study on the seismic performance and design procedures of curved and skewed bridges. Potential deficiencies and consequences thereof in current practice are studied. Numerical models are established based on the calibrated superstructural models available from previous studies. The effects of curve and skew are studied by varying selected structural parameters. Possible failure scenarios are examined to identify the critical design parameters. Further experimental and analytical studies to develop final recommendations to the seismic design specifications are identified and proposed.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research

    State University of New York, 107 Red Jacket Quadrangle, P.O. Box 610025
    Buffalo, NY  United States  14261-0025
  • Authors:
    • Shen, J Jerry
    • Yen, W Phillip
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 11p
  • Monograph Title: Fifth National Seismic Conference on Bridges and Highways: Innovation in Earthquake Engineering for Highway Structures

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01080786
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: B26
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 7 2007 4:13PM