Safety Evaluation of Seismic Behaviour of the Bill Emerson Memorial Cable-Stayed Bridge


Mechanical behavior of cable-stayed bridges subjected to earthquakes is one of the key issues in bridge engineering. In this study, a three-dimensional Finite Element (FE) model of the Bill Emerson Memorial Cable-stayed Bridge is developed and validated with data recorded during the M4.1 earthquake event on May 1, 2005. The model takes into account the geometric nonlinear properties associated with cable sagging and the soil-foundation-structure interaction in the approach span of the bridge. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to understand the effects of various modeling parameters and conditions. The calculated natural frequencies and mode shapes are in good agreement with the measured data. The bridge structure was verified to behavior elastically as designed according to the original performance criteria except that the out-of-plane behavior of the two H-shaped towers is near yielding under a scaled-up design earthquake from the recorded ground motions.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Missouri; Bridges; Cable-Stayed; Earthquakes; Finite Element Method; Seismic Effects

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2009