Mike Wolterbeek

Engineers at the University of Nevada, Reno have successfully tested a precast concrete bridge that withstands massive shaking. The bridge was tested at the world-renowned Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, and according to a University press release:

The 50-ton, 70-foot-long higher seismic-performing bridge, designed of pre-cast concrete columns and beams, was pre-cast and then built atop three 14- by 14-foot, 50-ton-capacity hydraulically driven shake tables. It was shaken Feb. 6 in a simulated earthquake, mimicking the large ground motions of the deadly and damaging 1994 Northridge, Calif. earthquake. Researchers used 230 sensors and gauges to monitor the stresses on the bridge and its components.
"It had an incredible 9 percent drift with little or no damage," [Saiid Saiidi, civil engineering professor, said]. "I'm excited to see the results and pleased with how well the bridge performed under extreme conditions. We subjected this bridge to a series of earthquakes, took it apart, and reassembled it before the final experiment. There's a lot of data analysis ahead of us, but the initial result shows success."

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