Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mostafa Tazarv


Bridge failure can be catastrophic resulting in casualties and limiting the accessibility and emergency response efforts. Ensuring a high level of ductility for bridge columns through sufficient design methods and detailing is the most important aspect of the modern seismic codes. Reinforced concrete (RC) bridge columns are widely used in multi-span bridges located in seismic regions of the nation due to their controlled ductility and durability. The objective of this study was to systematically evaluate the AASHTO seismic design requirements for RC bridge columns and to comment on whether current bridge code is sufficient and safe. An extensive literature review was performed to understand how the analytical plastic hinge equation adopted by AASHTO was developed and new information on the equation’s limitations was presented. To systematically evaluate the accuracy and safety of AASHTO design methods, a comprehensive database of RC bridge column test data was compiled and modeling methods to perform moment-curvature analyses and pushover analyses, both allowed in AASHTO, were discussed using two software packages, OpenSees and SAP2000. The results of 1,600 analyses performed on the test specimens of the database were presented comparing the calculated and measured responses for each column. Subsequently, the results are synthesized by comparing the key points of the force-displacement relationships individually and collectively. It was found that for the circular RC bridge


South Dakota State University

Grismer_Andrew_suppl._2024.xlsx (407 kB)
Supplemental data file



Rights Statement

In Copyright