RIZZO’s expertise in seismic, structural, and geotechnical engineering has been the backbone of our long-standing presence in the transportation market.

Our engineers have years of experience with various types of tunnel, bridge, light-rail, and high-speed rail projects.

In particular, we focus on the engineering of bridges (new design and retrofit), “hardening studies” for bridges, rapid transit systems, high-speed rail systems, tunnels and tubes, static and dynamic Soil Structure Interaction (SSI) analysis, dynamic train-structure interaction analysis, and train-induced structure and ground vibration analysis.


I. Rails

High-speed passenger rail has been hailed as an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly mode of transportation.  It requires a specialized system of dedicated tracks, trains built to travel up to 280 miles per hour, and advanced technology for support systems like communication and safety monitoring.  Globally, the majority of high-speed rails are found in China, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, and Korea.  As of 2010, only one moderately high-speed line is in operation in the United States, but the Federal Railroad Administration has spent years outlining its vision for a network of true high-speed rail lines in the country.

RIZZO has years of experience working on high speed rails globally, including: investigations of the dynamic response of the elevated and underground structural systems to moving train loads; structural vibration studies of the representative bridge configurations and elevated stations in a straight and curved alignment induced by moving train loadings; dynamic impact factors for structural design; and structural vibration studies to develop vibration criteria for aerial structures.  RIZZO has direct experience working with the Korean High-speed Rail and the Taiwan High-speed Rail.


II. Bridges

The San Francisco Bay Area, due to its topographic and geographic situation, offers a unique selection of major bridges as the core of its transportation network.  Earthquakes in the 1980s, Northridge (1984) and Loma Prieta (1989), induced structural damage in some of the major bridges in California.  As a result, the earthquake design level for such bridges was revised, and all of the existing major bridges needed to be seismically reassessed.

RIZZO’s branch office in Oakland, California offers years of award-winning structural and seismic expertise.  The engineers and scientists working from this branch are uniquely qualified to assess the seismic stability of many of the existing major bridges in Northern California and Asia.

RIZZO’S highly qualified and experienced engineering professionals have participated in numerous complex bridge projects, including the seismic retrofit of numerous large bridge projects.
Additionally, RIZZO has developed the methodology and procedures for the compatibility of earthquake ground-motion time-histories with design response spectrum.  Our firm has also developed the methodology and procedures for the compatibility of the generation of spatially varying multiple-station ground-motion time-histories with wave passage and spatial coherency functions.  Both of these procedures are now standard applications in earthquake engineering of new and retrofit old major bridges and underground structures around the world.