This study represents one of the Seismic Evaluation of Bridges on and over the Parkways in Western Kentucky investigative series. The effort is focused on the seismic vulnerability of bridge embankments against slope instability and liquefaction potential. An evaluation and rating procedure is presented to assist in identifying and prioritizing bridge embankments that are susceptible to failure due to projected seismic events.

To expedite the process, the algorithm titled Seismic Assessment System for Bridges (SASB) was programmed. Three hundred and eight-nine (389) bridge embankments (parallel bridges included) along the five western Kentucky parkways – Audubon, Pennyrile, Purchase, Western Kentucky, and William Natcher – were evaluated for projected 50-year and 250-year seismic events in this process.

30% of the bridge embankments are rated as ‘critical’ for projected 50-year event earthquakes, and 36% for projected 250-year event earthquakes. Based on this preliminary investigation, it is recommended that a more detailed analysis be carried out for bridge embankments rated as ‘critical’.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.