In a new era of terrorist threats, protecting structures and enhancing the security of these critical highway assets is a prime concern for transportation agencies. A new workshop offered by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Resource Center provides training in designing and analyzing highway structures to protect against the intense dynamic loads generated by bomb blasts.
“Blast Design and Analysis for Highway Structures” outlines the fundamentals of explosion effects, how to determine blast loads on bridge structures and compute the structural response to blast loads and how to design and retrofit structures to resist blast effects. The 11?2-day workshop’s primary emphasis is on terrorist threats, including vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and hand-emplaced improvised explosive devices. Currently available software and publications on blast effects and design guidance also will be discussed and demonstrated. Specific guidelines will be available on obtaining and using the featured software.
Offering best-practice guidance for increasing the security of critical structural assets, the workshop is intended for engineers and team leaders from state transportation departments who are responsible for designing, reviewing or qualifying structures that could be subjected to security threats.
The pilot session for the workshop was held at the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) Central Bridge Design Office in Albany, N.Y., in May 2006. NYSDOT participants provided positive feedback, noting that the training on blast theory and analysis methods was very informative. A training session also was held in New York City in August 2006 and in South Carolina in November 2006.
Workshop participants should have a general background in structural analysis and design and must be U.S. citizens.
For more information or to schedule the workshop in your state, contact Waider Wong at the FHWA Resource Center at 410/962-9252, e-mail: waider.wong@dot .gov, or Steve Ernst in FHWA’s Office of Bridge Technology at 202/366-4619, e-mail: [email protected].
For more information on the many resources offered by the FHWA Resource Center’s Structures Team, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/structures/index .cfm. The site includes details on such resources as best practices, publications and training courses. Also featured are a calendar of upcoming events and links to other useful websites. Information on structures technologies and best practices also is available on the FHWA Office of Bridge Technology website at www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge.