Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Retrofitted Bridges Using Probabilistic Methods

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Padgett, Jamie Ellen
DesRoches, Reginald
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The central focus of this dissertation is a seismic vulnerability assessment of retrofitted bridges. The objective of this work is to establish a methodology for the development of system level fragility curves for typical classes of retrofitted bridges using a probabilistic framework. These tools could provide valuable support for risk mitigation efforts in the region by quantifying the impact of retrofit on potential levels of damage over a range of earthquake intensities. The performance evaluation includes the development of high-fidelity three-dimensional nonlinear analytical models of bridges retrofit with a range of retrofit measures, and characterization of the response under seismic loading. Sensitivity analyses were performed to establish an understanding of the appropriate level of uncertainty treatment to model, assess, and propagate sources of uncertainty inherent to a seismic performance evaluation for portfolios of structures. Seismic fragility curves are developed to depict the impact of various retrofit devices on the seismic vulnerability of bridge systems. This work provides the first set of fragility curves for a range of bridge types and retrofit measures. Framework for their use in decision making for identification of viable retrofit measures, performance-based retrofit of bridges, and cost-benefit analyses are illustrated. The fragility curves developed as a part of this research will fill a major gap in existing seismic risk assessment software, and enable decision makers to quantify the benefits of various retrofits.
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