The University of Nevada's new earthquake engineer lab held its first test of a large-scale concrete bridge on Tuesday.
Civil engineering students tested a bridge designed at the University of Washington, simulating a quake that was about twice as powerful as the 1994 Northridge earthquake that hit Southern California.
Certain components within the bridge failed, but ultimately remained standing, which is a success.
“Our prime objective is life safety, and life safety means that we want the bridge to still be standing and we don't want it to collapse. So it met that objective even though the earthquake it was subjected to was 2.2 times the design level earthquake, so that's a huge earthquake,” says civil engineer David Sanders.
Yesterday they tested a quake about on par with the Northridge quake and found the bridge was not significantly damaged.