UNR-designed bridge survives quake tests

RENO — A 52-ton concrete bridge survived a series of 10 earthquakes in the first multiple-shake-table experiment at the University of Nevada’s new Earthquake Engineering Lab in Reno.

The 70-foot bridge was shaken Tuesday in a series of simulated earthquakes, culminating in the large ground motions similar to those recorded in the deadly and damaging 1995 magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Kobe, Japan.

University of Washington researcher John Stanton said the test was a success. He said the bridge withstood the design standard and actually exceeded it by 2.2 times.

The rocking, pre-tensioned concrete bridge support system is a new bridge engineering design the team has developed with the aim of saving lives, reducing construction time and minimizing earthquake damage.

It’s the newest addition to UNR’s earthquake/seismic engineering facility.

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