AbstractThe cyclic performance of substandard reinforced concrete (RC) bridge substructures seismically retrofitted using titanium alloy bars (TiABs) is assessed using full-scale experiments and nonlinear numerical models. The retrofit technique uses TiAB ligaments to simply and effectively strengthen columns with inadequate flexural lap splices and provides confinement through hoop action when combined with continuous TiAB spirals. The failure characteristics, flexural ductility, and hysteretic behavior of unretrofitted substandard (i.e., vintage) and TiAB retrofitted columns were evaluated using quasi-static, reversed cyclic tests of full-scale bridge column–footing specimens modeled after the characteristics of highway bridges in Oregon constructed prior to the introduction of seismic design provisions. Foundation rocking was examined and quantified through implementation of a soil subgrade simulant. Experimental results demonstrate improved flexural response and ductility with reduced concrete damage and residual drifts of RC columns when retrofitted with TiAB. The measured responses of the test specimens were used to calibrate three-dimensional (3D), nonlinear, finite-difference models used to investigate the effect of soil–structure interaction (SSI) on the rocking moment capacity for as-built and retrofitted column–footing specimens. The model was then used to perform a parametric study to evaluate retrofit details (flexural strength and stiffness) and soil characteristics (strength and stiffness) and their relationships to engineering demand parameters such as displacement and strength, which indicated that incorporation of SSI will permit the design of more efficient and economical seismic retrofits.