Bridge-specific fragility analysis: when is it really necessary?

Sotiria P. Stefanidou, Andreas J. Kappos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In seismic assessment of bridges the research focus has recently shifted on the derivation of bridge-specific fragility curves that account for the effect of different geometry, structural system, component and soil properties, on the seismic behaviour. In this context, a new, component-based methodology for the derivation of bridge-specific fragility curves has been recently proposed by the authors, with a view to overcoming the inherent difficulties in assessing all bridges of a road network and the drawbacks of existing methodologies, which use the same group of fragility curves for bridges within the same typological class. The main objective of this paper is to critically assess the necessity of bridge-specific fragility analysis, starting from the effect of structure-specific parameters on component capacity (limit state thresholds), seismic demand, and fragility curves. The aforementioned methodology is used to derive fragility curves for all bridges within an actual road network, with a view to investigating the consistency of adopting generic fragility curves for bridges that fall within the same class and quantifying the degree of over- or under-estimation of the probability of damage when generic bridge classes are considered. Moreover, fragility curves for all representative bridges of the analysed concrete bridge classes are presented to illustrate the differentiation in bridge fragility for varying structural systems, bridge geometry, total bridge length and maximum pier height. Based on the above, the relevance of bridge-specific fragility analysis is assessed, and pertinent conclusions are drawn.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2245-2280
Number of pages36
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Assessment
  • Bridge-specific fragility curves
  • Bridges
  • Limit state thresholds
  • Road network


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