WIT Press

Blast-resistant Highway Bridges: Design And Detailing Guidelines


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

75 - 83




693 kb


G. Williams, C. Holland, E. Williamson, O. Bayrak, K. Marchand & J. Ray


The design of bridges to resist blast loads has become an international concern in recent years. Data from the U.S. State Department indicate that violent attacks against transportation targets have increased worldwide over the last decade and that highway infrastructure has been the most frequently attacked transportation target. Since September 11th, 2001, increased emphasis on bridge security has raised awareness in the engineering community that bridges and other transportation structures should be designed to better respond to potential terrorist attacks. The fact that many bridges provide open access, carry thousands of motorists, and may have symbolic importance makes them attractive targets, and the success of recent terrorist bombings on bridges during the ongoing \“war on terror” highlight the vulnerability of these structures. This paper presents preliminary results and observations from blast tests on concrete bridge columns conducted during a U.S. national study to develop design and detail guidelines for blast-resistant highway bridges. Keywords: blast, bridge, column, concrete, explosive, terrorism. 1 Introduction Structural engineers have the responsibility of designing strong, durable structures that are able to resist extreme loading scenarios without collapsing. Past research on blast-resistant designs focused primarily on buildings, but the


blast, bridge, column, concrete, explosive, terrorism.