Improving Transportation Infrastructure Resilience against Hurricanes, Other Natural Disasters, and Weathering: Part II – Analysis of Pedestrian Bridge Failures Due to Hurricane Maria

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-REG18

Fiscal Year: 2018/2019

Status: Final

Principal investigator(s): Héctor J. Cruzado, Ph.D.

Performing organization(s): Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Managing organization: Rutgers CAIT

In cooperation with: Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority
Partner project manager: Juan Carlos Rivera, Engineer

Supported by: USDOT OST-R

UTC, grant, or agreement no.: 69A3551847102


The primary goal of this proposal is to analyze pedestrian bridges that were damaged or collapsed during Hurricane Maria. The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Develop an inventory of pedestrian bridges that were damaged or collapsed due to the hurricane and document the type of failures experienced
  • Do a case study of  a steel pedestrian bridge that due to the impact of Hurricane Maria experienced lateral bending in a plastic range. The pedestrian bridge for the study is located over a primary artery of the San Juan metropolitan area and was used to install traffic signs after its construction.

Results of this research may help the DOT and FHWA in Puerto Rico take the necessary steps to improve the design and construction of pedestrian bridges and installation of traffic signs on pedestrian bridges. The assessment of pedestrian bridge ownership and the compiled data also will be valuable.

road sign and utility poles after Hurricane Maria