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The Seismic Response of a Reinforced Concrete Bridge Pier Designed to Step

Beck, J. L. and Skinner, R. I. (1974) The Seismic Response of a Reinforced Concrete Bridge Pier Designed to Step. Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 2 (6). pp. 343-358. ISSN 0098-8847. doi:10.1002/eqe.4290020405.

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A new technique to enhance the earthquake resistance of tall reinforced-concrete bridges is introduced whereby the tall piers are allowed to ‘step’ during a severe seismic attack. This means that each pier is free to rock from side to side with vertical separation of parts of the pier from the supporting foundations. This stepping action limits stresses in the reinforced-concrete piers to values below the yield levels and this should lead to a substantial reduction in the cost of providing earthquake resistance As part of a feasibility study, a 200 feet-high stepping pier is defined and its displacements are calculated for the ground accelerations of the 1940 El Centre earthquake, N-S component. With no damping present the computations give many ‘stepping’ separations of rather large extent. When the effects of internal structural damping are included in the analysis, there is little reduction in the stepping motions at the level of damping expected in the pier. However, when the computations include the effects of some energy-absorbing devices of a recently-developed type, installed between the pier and its foundations, the amplitude and number of the stepping cycles are considerably reduced.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 1974 John Wiley & Sons. Received 18 October 1973, Revised 1 December 1973. The investigation described in this paper was carried out in response to an approach from New Zealand Railways and the authors wish to acknowledge that the initial stimulus for the design of a stepping-pier viaduct came from their bridge engineers. The authors would also like to thank Dr. G. N. Bycroft and Dr. I. G. Donaldson for useful discussions during preparation of the manuscript.
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120830-162437369
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33743
Deposited By: Carmen Nemer-Sirois
Deposited On:10 Sep 2012 18:13
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:37

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