BridgeR – Regional Seismic Hazard Assessment Tool for Transportation Networks and Its Application to Freight Loss Assessment

Research Team: Ertugrul Taciroglu (lead) and J.R. DeShazo

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: The most effective way to prevent loss of life and damage due to earthquakes is to identify facilities at risk; to quantify exposure; and to improve resiliency through retrofit, insurance, post-event emergency planning, and design/code improvements. Significant improvements in resiliency cannot be attained without data and knowledge from the first two steps. Current regional seismic assessment tools for bridges (and other structures alike) are very rudimentary and do not rely on up-to-date or updateable inventories, which means that their utility is almost null.

Project Description: The first objective of this project is to develop a GIS-based database that will provide various data and meta-data for all of California’s 20,000+ highway bridges. This database alone will allow experts from multiple domains (e.g., bridge engineers, city and traffic planners, and first responders) to carry out tasks such as emergency traffic planning, load rating of older bridges, life-cycle cost-benefit assessment of a given bridge. The second objective is to devise a computational toolbox that will interact with the database to produce a regional seismic risk/loss assessment of California’s transportation network. The said toolbox (or “app”) will produce quantitative results in the form of site- and structure-specific seismic bridge fragilities, which will enable pre-event regional economic loss studies, as well as rapid post-event assessment reports. The third objective is to produce a third tool that will enable financial loss studies on freight traffic due to large scenario-based earthquakes. The fourth and final objective of this project is to demonstrate the utility of the aforementioned databases and analysis tools by applying it to the freight traffic to and from the Port of Los Angeles in the aftermath of a large Southern California scenario-based earthquake. The seismic fragilities and freight data will be used to explore how much a given pre-event mitigation effort will minimize financial losses—in the form of, for example, recommended priority retrofits and maintenance runs, construction of redundant routes, and temporary routing plans until full recovery.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $44,265