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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 267584, 10 pages
Research Article

Pounding Effects in Simply Supported Bridges Accounting for Spatial Variability of Ground Motion: A Case Study

Department of Structural and Transportation Engineering, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy

Received 2 January 2012; Accepted 24 March 2012

Academic Editor: Sami W. Tabsh

Copyright © 2012 G. Tecchio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study carries out a parametrical analysis of the seismic response to asynchronous earthquake ground motion of a long multispan rc bridge, the Fener bridge, located on a high seismicity area in the north-east of Italy. A parametrical analysis has been performed investigating the influence of the seismic input correlation level on the structural response: a series of nonlinear time history analyses have been executed, in which the variation of the frequency content in the accelerograms at the pier bases has been described by considering the power spectral density function (PSD) and the coherency function (CF). In order to include the effects due to the main nonlinear behaviours of the bridge components, a 3D finite element model has been developed, in which the pounding of decks at cap-beams, the friction of beams at bearings, and the hysteretic behaviour of piers have been accounted for. The sensitivity analysis has shown that the asynchronism of ground motion greatly influences pounding forces and deck-pier differential displacements, and these effects have to be accurately taken into account for the design and the vulnerability assessment of long multispan simply supported bridges.