Bidirectional pseudodynamic tests of bridge piers designed to different standards Academic Article uri icon


  • Circular reinforced concrete highway bridge piers, designed in accordance with the requirements of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in the U.S., New Zealand, and Japanese specifications, are experimentally investigated to assess their seismic performance. Pseudodynamic test procedures are developed to perform experiments on 30% scaled models of the three prototype bridge piers. Each specimen is subjected to a sequence of three different earthquake ground motions scaled appropriately to represent: (1) the design basis earthquake (DBE) with a 90% nonexceedance probability; (2) the maximum considered earthquake (MCE) with a 50% nonexceedance probability; and (3) the MCE with a 90% nonexceedance probability. Damage states after the earthquakes are assessed and mapped for seismic risk assessment. The damage outcomes and the corresponding seismic risks validate the objectives of the performance-based design codes of the three countries. The results show that when bridge piers are designed to the specifications of each of the three countries, satisfactory performance with only slight to moderate damage can be expected for DBE. For the MCE, severe damage without collapse is likely for the Caltrans and Japanese piers. However, the NZ pier may not be able to survive MCE motions with sufficient reliability to ensure the preservation of life-safety. ASCE.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Dhakal, R. P., Mander, J. B., & Mashiko, N.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Dhakal, RP||Mander, JB||Mashiko, N

publication date

  • May 2007