The National Academies

NCHRP 12-72 [Final]

Blast-Resistant Highway Bridges: Design and Detailing Guidelines

  Project Data
Funds: $1000,000
Research Agency: The University of Texas at Austin
Principal Investigator: Eric Williamson
Effective Date: 6/22/2005
Completion Date: 11/30/2008

NCHRP Report 645 presents code-ready language containing general design guidance and a simplified design procedure for blast-resistant reinforced concrete bridge columns. It provides the results of experimental blast tests and analytical research on reinforced concrete bridge columns intended to investigate the effectiveness of a variety of different design techniques. The material in this report will be of immediate interest to bridge designers.

There is a need to protect the nation's bridges from intentional or accidental explosions. The impacts of these loads on buildings and military structures have been studied for many years, but design for resistance to explosive effects is a new area for bridge engineers. Much research and development has been done on the effectiveness of seismic strengthening details for buildings and bridges, and it has been suggested that these or similar bridge details, used in new construction or as a retrofit, may serve also to resist explosions and provide a predictable level of protection. There is a need to meld knowledge of seismic and extreme event design for new and existing structures with the equally well-known field of blast-resistant design and the relatively new field of highway bridge blast-resistant design. 

This research was performed under NCHRP Project 12-72 by the University of Texas at Austin with the assistance of Protection Engineering Consultants and Modjeski and Masters, Inc. The report fully documents the research leading to the developed design and detailing guidelines for blast-resistant reinforced concrete bridge columns.

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