Bridge Joints in a Seismic Area: A Case Study of the Dumbarton Bridge


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Title: Bridge Joints in a Seismic Area: A Case Study of the Dumbarton Bridge

Author(s): Charles Seim and Stanford Larsen

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70


Appears on pages(s): 625-636

Keywords: bridge decks; bridges (structures) ; dynamic structural analysis; earthquake resistant structures; earthquakes; joint sealers; structural design.

Date: 1/1/1981

The new Dumbarton Bridge is located midway between two major California Faults, each approximately 15 miles from the site. Extensive computer dynamic analysis of both soil and structure indicated that large out-of-phase movements will occur at the deck joints during a major earthquake. This anticipated once-in-a-lifetime large scale movement led to the development of an innovated low cost, but large, movement deck joint design for the over water portion. For the concrete trestle approaches over land, an energy absorbing, force inducing sol id rubber joint of standard design was employed to improve the structure performance during a major earthquake. Construction of the replacement structure paralleling the older bridge started in 1978, with the opening projected for mid-1981.