The New SAS Bay Bridge: Seismic Safety and Earthquake Engineering Issues

Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Location:
Building 3, Rambo Auditorium
Host:
Mehmet Celebi

Dr. Astaneh after briefly summarizing the performance of the 1936 Bay Bridge during the 1989
Loma Prieta earthquake and discussing seismic performance of the 1936 West Suspension
Spans, will focus on the 2013 SAS Bay Bridge and share his findings on the causes and
consequences of more than 15 design, construction and inspection problems that have resulted in
making the seismic resistance of the new SAS Bay Bridge debatable, its duration of construction
unacceptably long, and its cost overruns astronomical. He will discuss the reasons why the SAS
Bay Bridge ended up being so problematic and the lessons learned from this project, with
emphasis on the questionable seismic performance of the main tower and the bridge as a whole
with more than 2,200 hydrogen-embrittled anchor rods and bolts used in the most seismically
critical connections of the new bridge. The talk will conclude with proposed repair and retrofit
plans that if implemented can mitigate the existing seismic hazards posed by the inevitable
fracture of the hydrogen-embrittled anchor rods and bolts and the local buckling of the tower
shafts, none being an acceptable seismic performance.

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