Seismic evaluation and partial retrofitting of concrete bridge bents with defect details

Abstract The need for seismic retrofitting of bridges after severe earthquakes has become important in recent years. This study examines the seismic evaluation of concrete bents of highway bridges designed and implemented according to the 1990s regulations. Compared with the older codes, 1990s codes have more complex details for connections which are evaluated by experimental and numerical methods in this research. Significant improvement was observed in the behavior of the specimens designed with 1990s codes; however, this improvement is not enough as strength degradation was also reported in the inner cycles of the hysteresis curves. Therefore, seismic improvement was performed using performance levels. Results showed that in the connection zone, the longitudinal bar slippage occurs and the performance of connection is weak. In experimental phase, a specimen was constructed with external pre-stressing in a transverse direction for retrofitting. The level of improvement in behavior was also evaluated using parameters such as energy dissipation, performance levels and force-displacement curves.