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Response of the Northwest Connector in the Landers and Big Bear Earthquakes

by Gregory L. Fenves and Reginald DesRoches

Fenves, Gregory L., and Reginald DesRoches (1994). Response of the Northwest Connector in the Landers and Big Bear Earthquakes. SMIP94 Seminar on Seismological and Engineering Implications of Recent Strong-Motion Data, p. 61 - 74.

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Abstract

The strong motion records from the Northwest Connector (located in Colton, Calif.) in the 1992 Landers and Big Bear earthquakes provide valuable information about the seismic behavior of this common type of freeway bridge. Modeling of the bridge with reasonable estimates of the column stiffness and pile foundation properties and with gap elements for the intermediate hinges provides a good correlation between the computed and the recorded earthquake response of the bridge. Pounding of the hinges produces large acceleration spikes, causing sharp increases in the column shear forces. Since modeling the hinge opening-closing is relatively simple, this type of analysis is recommended for the design of multiple-frame bridges.