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Framework for Improving Resilience of Bridge Design
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  • Abstract:
    Bridges are an integral and important part of the highway infrastructure system and need to be designed to provide the necessary safety for the traveling public. Bridge failures can result in the disruption of commerce and services, significant repair costs, and most importantly the loss of human life. Performing a failure analysis during design, coupled with the review of past bridge failures, can help to avoid the need to initiate investigations and perform forensic engineering after a failure. This is the motivation for the development of this Framework. The development of this Framework considers bridge failures that resulted in collapse, service closures, major repairs, or other significant issues that occurred while the bridge was in service or during construction. A fault tree methodology is adopted in the Framework, where lessons from past bridge failures are used extensively to identify potential events that could lead to a bridge failure. A bridge designer, conscientiously or unconscientiously, goes through a fault-tree analysis mentally while ensuring that the design is devoid of weaknesses that could lead to bridge malfunction or failure. This Framework can provide a starting point for the less than senior engineer to jump start a conscientious evaluation process, and is expected to be of interest to students and instructors of bridge engineering, bridge owners, bridge designers, inspectors, fabricators, contractors, and maintenance personnel.

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