Scientists: Quake Test Of Bridge Design Worked
Scientists at Nevada earthquake lab are declaring success after testing new bridge designs they created to better withstand violent temblors and speed reconstruction after quake damage.
The University of Nevada, Reno engineers performed the test Wednesday, a day after the big Mexico earthquake.
They used a giant "shake table" to simulate the violent motions of an earthquake to rattle a 100-ton, 70-foot bridge model to determine how well it would hold up.
The research team's leader Professor Saiid Saiidi says new connector types to link prefabricated bridge parts with ultra-high performance concrete worked better than expected.
He says the computer models they used before the test had suggested there would be a higher level of bridge damage.
Saiidi says the new technology could prove pivotal in the future for earthquake-prone places like Mexico and the Western United States that try to minimize damage and keep bridges open for rescue and recovery efforts.