Prediction of Indirect Losses, Direct Losses, and Seismic Resilience of Aging Highway Bridges

Open Access
Davis, Lindeon Sherlock
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 31, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Dr Swagata Banerjee Basu, Thesis Advisor
  • indirect losses
  • direct losses
  • resilience
  • bridge
  • recovery
  • sigmoidal
  • corrosion
  • aging
  • highway
  • seismic
Natural disasters over the past decades, especially earthquakes, have caused varying levels of devastation to transportation systems around our nation. Bridges are typically the most vulnerable components of the transportation network during severe seismic excitations. Bridges are also prone to other natural phenomena that can lead to significant damage to its structural health over its intended or reduced life span. Some of these natural phenomena cause the bridge to “age”, affecting the overall bridge performance resulting in partial to complete bridge failure. One way a bridge responds to either phenomenon is characterized by its resilience. Within the scope of this study, one of the primary focuses was to assess a bridge sector for a pre-defined seismic event to estimate the financial costs. The full extent of the damage to this bridge does not only surround the costs associated with the bridge rehabilitation, but it also includes the costs associated with the delays faced by bridge users and the impacted highway network. These costs are just one of the factors that influence the seismic resilience of a given bridge system. The seismic resilience of a bridge relates to how well the bridge performs during seismic activity and the length of time it takes to reach some percentage of its original functionality. This resilience can be predicted with mathematical derivations that incorporate the results of a vulnerability analysis of the bridge for a given ground excitation, an assessment of the costs incurred from the earthquake damage, and an in depth look into how the bridge recovers. Throughout this thesis, the seismic resilience of the targeted bridge sector will be further investigated for each of the three factors. However, the first intended outcome of this research is to shed light on a comprehensive recovery model for variable bridge damage and to create a MATLAB function that can compute direct and indirect losses given specified data inputs. In addition, a secondary outcome is to apply these findings to a bridge network that experienced aging over its life cycle due to the corrosion of structural steel components.