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Evaluation of code criteria for bridges with unequal pier heights

Tamanani, M., Gian, Y. & Ayoub, A. (2016). Evaluation of code criteria for bridges with unequal pier heights. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 14(11), pp. 3151-3174. doi: 10.1007/s10518-016-9941-4


One of the challenges associated with Eurocode 8 and AASHTO-LRFD is predicting the failure of irregular bridges supported by piers of unequal heights. EC8 currently uses “moment demand-to-moment capacity” ratios to somewhat guarantee simultaneous failure of piers on bridges, while AASHTO-LRFD relies on the relative effective stiffness of the piers. These conditions are not entirely valid, in particular for piers with a relative height of 0.5 or less, where a possible combination of flexure and shear failure mode may occur. In this case, the shorter piers often result in brittle shear failure, while the longer piers are most likely to fail due to flexure, creating a combination of different failure modes experienced by the bridge. To evaluate the adequacy of EC8 design procedures for regular seismic behavior, various irregular bridges are simulated through a non-linear pushover analysis using shear-critical fiber-based beam-column elements. The paper investigates the behavior of irregular monolithic and bearing-type bridges experiencing different failure modes, and proposes different methods for regularizing the bridge performance to balance damage. The ultimate aim is to obtain a simultaneous or near-simultaneous failure of all piers irrespective of the different heights and failure mode experienced.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tamanani, M., Gian, Y. & Ayoub, A. Bull Earthquake Eng (2016) 14: 3151., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Publisher Keywords: Irregular bridge, Regular design, Pier height, Shear failure, Fiber beam element
Subjects: T Technology > TG Bridge engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Accepted Version
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