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Bridge Engineering Handbook - Seismic Design

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Throughout the history of civilization bridges have been the icons of cities, regions, and countries. All bridges are useful for transportation, commerce, and war. Bridges are necessary for civilization to exist, and many bridges are beautiful. A few have become the symbols of the best, noblest, and most beautiful that mankind has achieved.

 The secrets of the design and construction of the ancient bridges have been lost, but how could one not marvel at the magnificence, for example, of the Roman viaducts? The second edition of the Bridge Engineering Handbookexpands and updates the previous  edition by including the new developments of the first decade of the twenty-first century. 

Modern bridge engineering has its roots in the nineteenth century, when wrought iron, steel, and reinforced   concrete began to compete with timber, stone, and brick bridges.

 By the beginning of World War II, the transportation infrastructure of Europe and North America was essentially complete, and it served to sustain civilization as we know it. 

The iconic bridge symbols of modern cities were in place: 

Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, Brooklyn Bridge, London Bridge, Eads Bridge of St. Louis, and the bridges of Paris, Lisbon, and the bridges on the Rhine and the Danube. Budapest, my birthplace, had seven beautiful bridges across the Danube.

 Bridge engineering had reached its golden age, and what more and better could be attained than that which was already achieved? Then came World War II, and most bridges on the European continent were destroyed. 

All seven bridges of Budapest were blown apart by January 1945. Bridge engineers after the war were suddenly forced to start to rebuild with scant resources and with open minds. A renaissance of bridge  engineering started in Europe, then spreading to America, Japan, China, and advancing to who knows where in the world, maybe Siberia, Africa? It just keeps going! The past 60 years of bridge engineering have brought us many new forms of bridge architecture (plate girder bridges, cable stayed bridges, segmental  prestressed concrete bridges, composite bridges), and longer spans. 

Meanwhile enormous knowledge and  experience have been amassed by the profession, and progress has benefitted greatly by the availability of the digital computer.

 The purpose of the Bridge Engineering Handbookis to bring much of this knowledge and experience to the bridge engineering community of the world.

 The contents encompass the whole  spectrum of the life cycle of the bridge, from conception to demolition. 

The editors have convinced 146 experts from many parts of the world to contribute their knowledge and to share the secrets of their successful and unsuccessful experiences. Despite all that is known, there are still failures:

 engineers are human, they make errors; nature is capricious, it brings unexpected surprises! But bridge engineers learn from failures, and even errors help to foster progress.

 The Bridge Engineering Handbook, second edition consists of five books.

Fundamentals, Superstructure Design,and Substructure Designpresent the many topics  necessary for planning and designing modern bridges of all types, made of many kinds of materials and  systems, and subject to the typical loads and environmental effects.

 Seismic Designand Construction and Maintenancerecognize the importance that bridges in parts of the world where there is a chance of earthquake   occurrences must survive such an event, and that they need inspection, maintenance, and possible repair throughout their intended life span.

 Seismic events require that a bridge sustain repeated dynamic load cycles without functional failure because it must be part of the postearthquake lifeline for the affected area. Construction and Maintenancetouches on the many very important aspects of bridge management that become more and more important as the world’s bridge inventory ages.

 The editors of the Bridge Engineering Handbook, Second Edition are to be highly commended for undertaking this effort for the benefit of the world’s bridge engineers.

 The enduring result will be a safer and more cost effective family of bridges and bridge systems. I thank them for their effort, and I also thank the 146 contributors.