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Seismic Retrofit Benefit Considering Statewide Transportation Assessment
Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations
  • Selamawit Tesfayesus Mehary, Portland State University
  • Peter Dusicka, Portland State University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Bridges -- Retrofitting -- Oregon -- Evaluation,
  • Bridges -- Oregon -- Design and construction -- Evaluation,
  • Bridges -- Oregon -- Foundations and piers -- Evaluation,
  • Earthquake resistant design -- Oregon -- Evaluation,
  • Earthquake hazard analysis -- Oregon
The purpose of this study was to identify and demonstrate a methodology to prioritize bridges for retrofit in the State of Oregon. Given the limited resources available, retrofitting all vulnerable bridges in the foreseeable future would not be practical. Instead, a retrofit strategy needs to be developed to prioritize the inventory and enumerate the retrofit cost. In this study, a prioritization methodology used a holistic assessment of overall roadway system to consider highway route segments, rather than individual bridges. The overall assessment was based on a cost-benefit analysis including retrofit cost, expected economic loss (with or without retrofit) and social loss caused by system wide travel time delays. A review of 2010 ODOT bridge inventory suggested that a continuous concrete girder bridge (CCGS) with three spans could be utilized to represent a sizeable portion of vulnerable inventory for Oregon highways bridges. After reviewing several potential retrofit measures, carbon fiber composite material was selected for retrofit of vulnerable columns representing those built from the 1950s to mid-1970s. Four full-scale typical square columns were tested to failure. The results showed that despite the intentionally selected square geometry of the reinforced concrete columns, the CFRP composite material showed to be an effective retrofit measure and could be deployed for to address this deficiency. The software package REDARS2 was used for seismic risk analysis (SRA) of the highway network in this study. This platform was adopted to simulate the impact of scenario earthquakes in an effort to assess the expected benefit considering direct bridge costs as well as social costs from traffic induced delays resulting from seismic retrofitting of a particular bridge type. The assessment considered three scenario Cascadia Subsection Zone earthquakes of magnitudes 9.0, 8.5 North, and, 8.5 South. The study area included all highway routes west of the I-5 corridor, highway routes in the Portland area, the entire length of US-101 and extending partially east on I-84 Columbia River Highway. Due to the considerations of a single bridge type and other limitations identified in the seismic analysis software (REDARS2), the retrofit assessment outcomes should be regarded as a first order estimate.

This is a final report, OR-RD-15-15, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:

Persistent Identifier
Citation Information
Mehary, S. T., and Dusicka, P.. Seismic Retrofit Benefit Considering Statewide Transportation Assessment. Report OR-RD-15-15. Portland, OR: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), 2015.