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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-030
Date: March 2011

Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Report on Transportation Infrastructure: Impact of the February 27, 2010, Offshore Maule Earthquake in Chile

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FOREWORD

On February 27, 2010, a devastating magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of the Maule region of Chile, affecting a large area that included Chile's two most populated cities: Concepción and Santiago, the Chilean capital. A transportation infrastructure reconnaissance team (TIRT) was organized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and performed a thorough postearthquake investigation of highway infrastructure from April 4 to 13, 2010. TIRT was assisted by Chile's Ministry of Public Works and two local universities: Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and University of Chile, both located in Santiago. This report presents the preliminary findings of the earthquake's effects on the transportation infrastructure, including bridges and other highway structures that the team visited during the reconnaissance. This project was funded by FHWA's Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment program.

Jorge Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-11-030

2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Report on Transportation Infrastructure: Impact of the February 27, 2010, Offshore Maule Earthquake in Chile

5. Report Date

March 2011

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Wen-Huei Phillip Yen, Genda Chen, Ian Buckle, Tony Allen, Daniel Alzamora, Jeffrey Ger, and Juan G. Arias

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101

 

Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology
1401 N. Pine St., Rolla, MO 65409-0030

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Nevada Reno
1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557

 

State Materials Laboratory
Washington State Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 47365, Olympia, WA 98504

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period

Final Report:
December 2009–Present

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) was W. Phillip Yen, HRDI-50.

16. Abstract

This report documents the findings and lessons learned from the February 27, 2010, M8.8 offshore Maule earthquake in Chile. Fewer than 0.15 percent of the bridges in Chile's inventory, most built after 1995, collapsed or suffered damage that rendered them useless. Many spans of precast prestressed discontinuous girder bridges with continuous decks fell off their supports, probably due to significant in-plane rotation of the superstructure as a result of severe shaking. Lateral steel stoppers used to provide both vertical and lateral restraints on girders were largely unsuccessful due to their inadequate connection detail to cap beams and abutments. Reinforced concrete shear keys performed well as fuses limiting the transfer of excessive seismic loads from the superstructure to the foundation of bridges even though they could be optimized for maximum energy dissipation as part of the lateral restraint system at the bottom flange of girders. Vertical seismic bars were widely used to restrain the vertical motion of decks, and they also performed well. Bridge substructures (foundation, column, and cap beam) generally behaved satisfactorily except for two columns that suffered shear failure due to ground settlement and lateral spreading. All mechanically stabilized earth walls exceeded the expected performance.

17. Key Words

Seismic performance, Bridge damage, Superstructure rotation, Retaining wall, Soil liquefaction, Lateral spreading

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through NTIS:
National Technical Information Service
5301 Shawnee Road
Alexandria, VA 22312

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

214

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2. GEOLOGY, SEISMOLOGY, AND GROUND MOTIONS

CHAPTER 3. OVERVIEW OF BRIDGE PERFORMANCE AND SEISMIC DESIGN REQUIREMENTS IN CHILE

CHAPTER 4. STRUCTURAL PERFORMANCE OF HIGHWAY BRIDGES

CHAPTER 5. GEOTECHNICAL PERFORMANCE OF TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

CHAPTER 6. LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE EARTHQUAKE

CHAPTER 7. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

APPENDIX A. SUBSURFACE DATA

APPENDIX B. SEISMIC DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR BRIDGES AND WALLS IN CHILE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF ACRONYMS

AASHTOAmerican Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials
CIPCast-in-place
DDCDeep dynamic compaction
EERIEarthquake Engineering Research Institute
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
GEERGeotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance
GPSGlobal Positioning System
LRFDLoad and resistance factor design
MOPMinistry of Public Works
MSEMechanically stabilized earth
NEHRPNational Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
PGAPeak ground acceleration
QDRQuake data recorder
TIRTTransportation infrastructure reconnaissance team
USGSUnited States Geological Survey

 

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