The “actual” capacity and stiffness values of the abutment‐soil systems at the US 101/Painter Street Overpass, determined from its earthquake motions, are used to investigate how abutment stiffness varies during earthquakes and to evaluate current modeling procedures. It is found that the “actual” abutment stiffness may be significantly different during different phases of the shaking and decreases significantly as the abutment deformation increases. The CALTRANS modeling procedure leads to a good estimate of the transverse abutment stiffness and capacity. However, this procedure may overestimate the normal abutment stiffness and capacity by a factor of over two, indicating that the assumed value of 7.7 ksf for the ultimate passive resistance of the soil, used in the CALTRANS procedure, may be too high. The AASHTO‐83 and ATC‐6 procedures lead to an initial estimate of the abutment stiffness that is too high in both directions.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/343