Researchers in New Zealand have developed new technology that could make bridges more resilient to earthquakes. Their so-called ‘low-damage solution’ has a series of rocking bridge columns that move with seismic shocks, leaving bridges with little to no damage compared to conventional building methods.
More than 900 bridges were damaged during the Kaikōura earthquake on New Zealand’s South Island in 2016. Roads and railway lines were also destroyed, disrupting the transport network.
Researchers at the University of Canterbury have said that although current designs prevent the collapse of bridges, significant repairs might be needed.
They’ve developed flexible columns made of high-strength steel that move during an earthquake. They act like giant rubber bands to bring bridge supports back into position. Conventional steel bars are also used to dissipate seismic energy, reducing the impact of a powerful tremor. (VOA)