This article reports the substantially increased earthquake engineering research programme in California that has been put into effect as a result of the 1990 earthquake in Loma Prieta near San Francisco, together with engineers' disputes about the progress of retrofitting since the earthquake. The earthquake research budget for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has increased from about 250,000 to about 4 million, and the bridge retrofitting programme exceeds 500 million. The research and part of the retrofitting will be funded by the recently announced rise in Californian petrol tax. The retrofitting programme has been criticised sharply for lack of consultation between Caltrans engineers, Californian state authorities, and researchers, and for ignoring research needs. In response, Caltrans claims that the only bridges to suffer major damage during the earthquake had not received improvements, and cites this as evidence for the design adequacy of the improved bridges; its retrofitting strategy is addressing known causes of bridge failure. The estimated cost of retrofitting some of the larger structures has risen so high that they will be demolished and replaced by new structures at little if any additional cost. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Thomas Telford Limited

    London,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • WATSON, R
  • Publication Date: 1990-10-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-15
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00620079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1992 12:00AM