Residual Capacity of Impacted Bridge Piers

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-NC52

Fiscal Year: 2016/2017

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Andrew Sorensen, Ph.D., Mar Halling, Ph.D., Patrick Szary, Ph.D.

External Author(s): Rhett Arnell, PE, Utah DOT

Sponsor(s): USDOT-OST-R, Utah Department of Transportation

Principal investigator(s): Andrew Sorensen, Ph.D.

Performing organization(s): Utah State University

Managing organization: Rutgers CAIT

In cooperation with: Utah Department of Transportation
Partner project manager: Rhett Arnell, PE

In cooperation with:
Partner project manager:

Supported by: Utah Department of Transportation
Client contact/manager: Rhett Arnell, PE


This project seeks to experimentally determine a predictive methodology for calculating capacity reduction values for vehicular impacted bridge piers. To accomplish this goal, the following more specific objectives have been identified:

  • Identify the damage levels of circular reinforced concrete bridge piers subject to varying levels of impact as a function of concrete compressive strength, reinforcing levels, and impact levels
  • Determine residual axial loading capacities of circular reinforced concrete bridge piers damaged due to impact.
  • Determine resistance reduction factors as a function of vehicular impact and  pier design parameters that can be used in multi-hazard risk analysis.

The results of this study will be shared with the design community and it is expected that the knowledge gained from the testing of the bridge piers will lead to improved, robust design of new columns capable of withstanding sequential multi-hazard loading thus improving safety.