Sustainable Frameworks and Life Cycle Assessment for Reinforced Concrete Bridges for Sustainability in Transportation

The objective of this research project is to propose sustainable frameworks and life cycle assessment for reinforced concrete (RC) bridges to develop innovative technology for sustainability in transportation. Bridges are key components in the transportation network. A bridge with longer life span is equivalent to a significant reduction in environmental impacts. In California, earthquakes have repeatedly demonstrated the seismic vulnerability of existing bridges and the urgent need for seismic retrofit and bridge maintenance to extend the life span of bridges. Therefore, sustainability in the transportation system could be achieved.

Principal Investigator: 
Yu-Fu Ko
PI Contact Information:

CSU Long Beach

January 2024 to December 2024
Implementation of Research Outcomes: 

The proposed sustainable frameworks will be developed to reduce the environmental impact of reconstruction of existing bridges as well as to minimize the economic impact of losing bridge functionality after strong earthquakes. Sustainability of RC bridges will be investigated and assessed for structural sustainability which life span of RC bridges will be assessed by proposed sustainable models using robust fiber-based nonlinear finite element models (FEMs) and damage models to identify structural deficiencies for seismic retrofit and maintenance. Specially, a comparison of the effects of near-fault and far-fault strong earthquakes on the life span of RC bridges will be investigated. Recommendations for bridge maintenance including retrofit of RC bridges with green materials will be studied. In addition, environmental sustainability regarding environmental impacts of the process in all life cycle stages of the RC bridges including design, construction, use, maintenance, and disposal states will also be investigated.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

The significance of the proposed sustainable models will serve as a bridge management system to support the environmental and economic principles by optimizing the life cycle of the RC bridge structures including preservation, restoration, and replacement, to maximize their lifetimes. Therefore, the environmental impacts of construction, cost, and raw material usage will be reduced.

Project Number: 



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