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Performance of seismic-isolated bridges in relation to near-fault ground-motion and isolator characteristics

This paper investigates the performance of seismic-Isolated bridges (SIBs) subjected to near-fault (NF) earthquakes with forward rupture directivity effect (FRDE) in relation to the isolator, substructure, and NF earthquake properties, and examines some critical design clauses in AASHTO's Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation Design. It is found that the SIB response is a function of the number of velocity pulses, magnitude of the NF ground motion, and distance from the fault. Particularly, a reasonable estimation of the expected magnitude of the NF ground motion according to the characteristics of the bridge site is crucial for a correct design of the SIB. It is also found that the characteristic strength and post-elastic stiffness of the isolator may be chosen based on the characteristics of the NF earthquake. Furthermore, some of the AASHTO clauses are found to be not applicable to SIBs subjected to NF ground motions with FRDE.