Skewed slab-on-girder steel bridge superstructures with bidirectional-ductile end diaphragms

Oguz C. Celik, Michel Bruneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Specially designed ductile end diaphragms of steel bridge superstructures have previously proved, both theoretically and experimentally, to dissipate seismic input energy, protecting other substructure and superstructure members. Although ductile diaphragms have been introduced in the latest AASHTO guide specifications as a structural system that can be used to resist transverse earthquake effects, no guidance is provided on how to implement these ductile diaphragms in skewed bridges. To address this need and to resolve some shortcomings of the known end diaphragm systems (EDSs), two bidirectional end diaphragm configurations, namely, EDS-1 and EDS-2, with buckling restrained braces (BRBs) are proposed and numerically investigated. Bidirectional end diaphragm is a new concept, and can be implemented both in straight and skewed steel bridge superstructures to resist bidirectional earthquake effects. To assess the relative effectiveness of the proposed systems and to investigate how various parameters relate to seismic response, closed-form solutions are developed using nondimensional bridge geometric ratios. Numerical results indicate that skewness more severely affects end diaphragm behavior when 30. Also, comparisons reveal that although both end diaphragm systems can be used with confidence as ductile seismic fuses, each of the two systems considered have advantages that may favor its implementation, depending on project-specific constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Bidirectional earthquake effects
  • Buckling restrained braces (BRBs)
  • Ductile end diaphragms
  • Hysteretic energy dissipation
  • Seismic retrofit
  • Skewed steel bridges


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