INSPIRE Archived Webinars


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Source Publication Title

INSPIRE-University Transportation Center Webinars

Webinar Date

05 Jun 2019, 11:00 am


Based on bridge failure data compiled by New York State Department of Transportation, collision, both caused by vessel and vehicles, is the second leading cause of bridge failures after hydraulic. Current AASHTO-LRFD (2012) recommends designing a bridge pier vulnerable to vehicular impacts for an equivalent static force of 600 kips (2,670 kN) applied in a horizontal plane at a distance of 5.0 feet above the ground level. This research presents a performance-based approach for designing a bridge pier subject to impacts by tractor-semi-trailer weighing up to 80,000 lb based on an extensive investigation using finite element model of a tractor-semitrailer in LS-DYNA. In order to ensure the reliability of the proposed approach, parameters of concrete model were calibrated using small-scale impact test and were validated using a large scale test. Mechanics and modes of failure of bridge pier bents during vehicular impacts were verified through pendulum impact test on a large scale model of three column pier-bent system. A performance-based approach in terms of shear distortion, plastic rotation and demand / capacity (D/C) ratio has been proposed for the design of bridge piers vulnerable to heavy vehicle impacts.


Dr. Anil Agrawal is currently a Herbert G. Kayser Professor of Structural / Bridge Engineering at the City College of New York and the Chief Editor of the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering. He has been the past-chair of ASCE Committee on Bridge Inspection, Rehabilitation and Monitoring. His research interests include inspection and deterioration of bridge elements, robotic inspection of bridge components, post-hazard assessment using drones, behavior of bridges during extreme hazards such as earthquakes, blast, fire, and vehicular impacts on highway bridges, redundancy of long span cable supported bridges and advanced geophysical methods on foundation characterization. Dr. Agrawal has published more than 250 articles, including more than 100 peer preview journal articles and more than 20 reports. A report published by FHWA on “A Performance-Based Approach for Loading Definition of Heavy Vehicle Impact Events” can be downloaded from


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

INSPIRE - University Transportation Center


Research in this presentation has been sponsored through a FHWA contract on Hazard Mitigation Team with Mr. Waider Wong as the Task Manager.

Document Type

Video - Presentation

Document Version

Final Version

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