Building bridges to withstand earthquakes
From very simple structures built from logs, stone and dirt to the introduction of stone arches that revolutionised bridge building techniques during the Roman Empire, bridges have come a long way. Today’s bridges are constructed to be stronger and bigger than ever before. While bridges offer faster travel routes, they also need to be safe – especially in an earthquake. The EU-funded ASPIRE project will assess the seismic performance of integral abutment bridges, a particular class of structures characterised by the absence of bearing supports and expansion joints (elements commonly used in bridges). Compared to traditional bridges, integral abutment bridges are more cost-effective. By studying behaviour under seismic loads, the project will shed light on the use of integral abutment bridges in quake-prone areas.