Benchmark Structural Control Problem For Seismically Excited Highway Bridge




Objectives of Seismically Excited Highway Benchmark Problem on Structural Control

A highway overcrossing or bridge, connecting major transportation routes, is a key node in transportation network. It must continue to function after an earthquake. Therefore, a higher level of performance with less structural damage is required for such bridges. Recent earthquakes such as Northridge and Kobe have demonstrated the importance of maintaining the operation of bridge structures.  To deal with seismic risk to bridges, seismic upgrading of critical highways is under way by various state and federal agencies, and considerable attention has been paid to research and development of effective protective systems.  For highway bridges, seismic isolation bearings in combination with passive, semi-active and active control systems are used as protective systems.  The seismic isolation bearings, which usually replace conventional bridge bearings, decouple the superstructure from piers and abutments during earthquakes, thereby significantly reducing the seismic forces induced in the bridge structure and lowering the strength and ductility demands on the bridge.  However, nonlinear behavior of the bridge columns or excessive displacement of bearings during near-fault ground motions may result in significant damage to the bridge with isolation bearings.  Hence, it is important to investigate the effectiveness of various protective systems in reducing response quantities of highway bridges.


To meet this objective, it was decided to develop a benchmark structural control model for highway bridges during the meeting of the ASCE Committee on Structural Control during the 2003 Structures Congress in Seattle.  This paper presents the problem definition for the benchmark highway bridge. The highway bridge model is based on the newly constructed 91/5 highway bridge in southern California bridge to provide systematic and standardized means by which competing control strategies, including devices, control algorithms and sensors, can be evaluated.  The benchmark package consists of the MATLAB based 3-D finite element model of the highway bridge, design of sample controllers, prescribed ground motions and a set of evaluation criteria. 

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