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Seismic Vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct: Summary Report

Description: University of Washington researchers studied the structural and geotechnical aspects of the seismic vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. A design-level earthquake would strongly shake the viaduct and cause widespread liquefaction of the underlying loose, saturated soils. The liquefaction would likely cause the foundations to settle and to move laterally. The Alaskan Way Viaduct's reinforcing details make the viaduct particularly vulnerable to strong shaking and to foundation movements induced by liquefaction. In a design level earthquake, the Alaskan Way Viaduct would be severely damaged and multiple sections could collapse.

  • Date Published: July, 1995
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 363.4
  • Last Modified: June 2, 2007
  • Authors: Steven L. Kramer, Marc O. Eberhard.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 21 p., 64 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Bridges, Collapse, Earthquake resistant structures, Foundations, Geotechnical engineering, Hazard evaluation, Liquefaction, Loss and damage, Seismicity, Settlement (Structures), Soils, Viaducts.
  • Keywords: Liquefaction, seismic hazard analysis, foundation stiffness, foundation damping, lateral spreading, Alaskan Way Viaduct (Seattle, Wash.), SR 99.
  • Related Publications: Seismic Vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct: WSDOT Typical Unit, (WA-RD 363.1).
    Seismic Vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct: Geotechncial Engineering Aspects, (WA-RD 363.2).
    Seismic Vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct: SED Typical Unit, (WA-RD 363.3).

This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008