All large structures are vulnerable to earthquake damage. Local failures or total collapse of such structures represent not only immediate concern for loss of life and repair costs, but also major economic impacts due to loss of service. Engineers are asked to use advanced analytical procedures in order to assess the seismic vulnerability of existing structures, design with more sophistication to address these concerns, and make the design economically viable. With increasing construction costs and tighter budgets, a key component in removing the over-conservatism in the final design and effecting a cost-efficient, yet sound design solution, is to take a more rigorous approach to structural analysis.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the particular features and benefits of the advanced seismic analysis as it applies to major bridge structures. Major aspects of earthquake related analysis such as static lateral pushover / collapse analysis, non-linear time history analysis, and post-processing efforts required to evaluate structural behaviors of individual members and components are discussed. Representative projects involving major bridges and the analytical processes used to evaluate performance of these major structures are summarized in this paper.