About

Bridges and tunnels are very important components of national and international transportation networks playing a crucial role in the economic activity of modern societies.

Recent hazardous events in Greece, for instance, the 2003 Lefkada earthquake (M6.5) and the 2019 heavy rainfall in Crete, resulted in severe physical damage on transportation infrastructure, highlighting the vulnerability of key components of such infrastructure, like bridges and tunnels, to natural hazards.

Unique natural hazards, like earthquakes, may lead to severe damage on critical transportation infrastructure components, like bridges and tunnels. However, severe damage is more likely to be associated with multi-hazard phenomena that act independently and/or subsequently throughout the life of the infrastructure component. Additionally, ageing effects, as well as Soil-Structure Interaction (SSI) phenomena may increase the potential for damage.

In this context, there is an increasing need for effective evaluation, management, and mitigation of the risk of transportation infrastructure components subjected to a variety of natural hazards, by employing methodologies that account for ageing effects and SSI phenomena since these effects may play a significant role on the vulnerability of such components.

Although some advances have been made on the investigation of the influence of ageing and SSI effects on the structural response and fragility of transportation infrastructure components, vulnerability assessment studies, accounting for the combined effects of the above parameters, are very scarce, especially when considering the effects of multiple hazards (e.g., earthquakes and floods).

INFRARES aspires to bridge this gap and gain further insight into the risk and resilience assessment of bridges and tunnels subjected to independent and/or multiple subsequent natural hazards, proposing a comprehensive methodology towards a more efficient risk and resilience assessment of the above critical transportation infrastructure components.

The outcomes of the project will be communicated to the scientific community through relevant publications in journals and announcements in conferences. Relevant newsletters and technical guidelines will also be issued, to disseminate the outcome of the project and engage interested Stakeholders, Operators and Consultancies. In addition, a new user-friendly software for multi-hazard risk assessment of transportation infrastructure will be presented, allowing an easier implementation of the proposed methodology.

The whole approach will be applied to a roadway network of Western Macedonia, i.e., Egnatia Odos, one of the largest roadway networks in Greece, to present an example of implementation and validate the efficiency of the methodology.

Novel aspects of INFRARES:

New fragility functions will be developed for various typologies of bridges and tunnels subjected to independent natural hazards, as well as subsequent multiple natural hazards, considering in the effects of ageing and SSI, to facilitate a more rigorous vulnerability assessment for these crucial transportation infrastructure components.

The damage states definition within fragility analysis will be case- and hazard-specific, considering different failure modes and damage mechanisms, to fill the relevant knowledge gap.

The resilience of roadway networks, consisting of the examined components (i.e., bridges and tunnels), will be quantified by means of a resilience index. This index will be appropriately estimated so that to be applicable for multi-hazard assessment purposes.

An innovative and user-friendly software for multi-hazard risk and resilience assessment of transportation infrastructure will be developed allowing for an easy application of the proposed methodology by Stakeholders, Operators and Public Authorities.

INFRARES at a glance:

  • Host Institution: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Collaborating Institution: University of Surrey, UK
  • Duration: 30 Months
  • Funding: Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) and the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI)

INFRARES receives funding from the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) under the “2nd Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Post-Doctoral Researchers”. (Project Number: 927) 

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