AbstractMajor vehicle or barge collisions with bridge piers are becoming increasingly commonplace, leading to increased risk to critical transportation infrastructure. Consequently, the reliability of bridge piers damaged by impact from vehicular collisions has become an area of increasing concern. Some of the collisions result in serious structural damage due to high energy transfer while others experience only cosmetic damage. Reinforced concrete (RC) bridge piers, because of their exposed faces and geometry, are susceptible to vehicle collisions that result in full structural failure and collapse. This leads to potential hazardous situations under subsequent loading scenarios. In order to properly identify and characterize the damage, a categorical investigation of postimpact bridge pier capacity is necessary. As such, this study is an attempt to collect and analyze research carried out on the behavior of bridge piers during and after vehicular impact in order to quantify the postimpact performance. A summary of research into the behavior of RC piers during and postimpact is presented. The damage is defined in terms of damage indices considering strain rates of concrete and steel during and immediately after plastic deformation. Respective damage indices are determined for concrete and steel. Concrete spalling as an effect of localized failure is also discussed in an attempt to identify the intensity of damage at different damage conditions. Experimental work undertaken in different studies and correlated with theoretical postulations as directed in the compression field theory are presented. The latest provisions for assessing the peak impact force in different standards are also discussed. This study can serve as an additional tool for future design approaches in order to avoid severe damage or collapse of reinforced concrete bridge piers impacted by vehicles and vessels as well as to aid practitioners in effectively evaluating postimpact reliability.

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