What is it about?

River-crossing bridges are vulnerable to wear and tear during floods. Flooding causes "bridge scour," or erosion of the bridge's supports. Unfortunately, climate change has made such floods more common. This can cause bridge failure. But, most studies have examined the risks of flooding on a bridge without considering climate effects. In this study, the authors looked at the effects of climate change on the risk and resilience of a bridge. They used a bridge crossing the San Joaquin River in California, US, as their case study. The authors made predictions about the effects of climate change on the flood patterns for the period 2012-2099 using simulation results. In addition, they focused on strategies to make the bridge more robust to the hazards caused by climate change.

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Why is it important?

Most studies on risk and resilience of bridges focus on flooding hazards. But, bridges need to be robust against multihazard conditions as well. This includes resilience to multiple extreme conditions, e.g., floods and earthquakes. Given the threat of climate change, it is necessary to assess the risk and resilience of bridges for such extreme conditions. This study provides a push for future studies to examine multihazard risk mitigation of bridges. In addition, it drives future initiatives for the development of robust bridges. KEY TAKEAWAY: Climate change is a major threat to river-crossing bridges and increases their risks of failure considerably. As a result, steps must be taken to ensure their robustness to multiple hazards caused by climate effects.

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This page is a summary of: Impact of Climate Change on Multihazard Performance of River-Crossing Bridges: Risk, Resilience, and Adaptation, Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, February 2021, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), DOI: 10.1061/(asce)cf.1943-5509.0001538.
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