In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model of the Bill Emerson Memorial cable-stayed bridge was developed and validated with the acceleration data recorded during the M4.1 earthquake of May 1, 2005, in Manila, Arkansas. The model took into account the geometric nonlinear properties associated with cable sagging and soil-foundation-structure interaction. The validated model was used to evaluate the performance of a seismic protective system, the behavior of cable-stayed spans, and the accuracy of two simplified bridge models that have been extensively used by the structural control community. The calculated natural frequencies and mode shapes correlated well with the measured data. Except that the hollow columns of two H-shaped towers were near yielding immediately above their capbeams, the cable-stayed spans behaved elastically as expected under the design earthquake that was scaled up from the recorded rock motions at the bridge site. The minimum factor of safety of all cables is 2.78, which is slightly greater than the design target.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Acceleration Data; Bridge Model; Bridge Sites; Condition Assessments; Design Earthquakes; Emerson; Factor Of Safety; Geometric Non-Linear; H-Shaped; Hollow Columns; Measured Data; Mode Shapes; Seismic Protective Systems; Soil-Foundation-Structure Interactions; Structural Control; Three Dimensional Finite Element Model; Box Girder Bridges; Cable Stayed Bridges; Finite Element Method; Geologic Models; Mathematical Models; Safety Factor; Structural Dynamics

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2010 National Research Council (U.S.), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2010