In response to the possible occurrence of a strong earthquake that may cause damage to the civil works and bridge structures along the HSR route, THSRC held its first large-scale “Post-earthquake Bridge Emergency Repair Exercise” on Nov. 16, especially at the Xinhua section of Tainan. BOHSR Deputy Director General Yang led associates to attend the event to observe. The Deputy Director General showed approval toward the resilience of the THSRC to ensure passenger safety and reduce operational impact. THSRC Chairman Y. C. Chiang indicated that Taiwan is located in the Pacific Rim so the frequent occurrence of earthquakes is predictable. Although the HSR system has fully taken into account the seismic strength of civil facilities at the beginning of design and construction and is in line with the national norms and standards, THSRC is the first to host the “Post-earthquake Bridge Emergency Repair Exercise” in order to prevent the occurrence of strong earthquakes that exceed the seismic design potential. It not only strengthens employees' education and training but also hopes to make reference to foreign experience and practice through hands-on training to exchange views with engineering and rail counterparts. In the event of a catastrophic, THSRC will rapidly utilize domestic and foreign resources to immediately demonstrate maximum mobilization and resilience and resume operations as soon as possible to reduce the impact on passengers, providing people with safe and convenient travel services.
In this exercise, the scenario was set for a strong earthquake at Xinhua, Tainan as follows.
"After the quake, the inspection revealed that the facilities such as bearings, parapets and expansion joints of the bridge were damaged. Among them, the bottom of concrete pier at HSR mileage TK299 + 264 was damaged, steel was buckled, plastic hinges occurred, resulting in vertical and horizontal displacement. Also, the pot bearing and other devices were damaged. The matters addressed in the exercise include: site preparation and laying of temporary foundation, erection of support frames and jacks, removal of linkage devices, return of girders to their original locations, removal of plastic hinge of piers, restoration of piers to their original locations, rehabilitation and reinforcement of bridge piers."
Through computer simulation, time-lapse photography and staff explanation, a complete picture of “post-earthquake bridge emergency repair” was presented.
In order to accomplish this exercise, THSRC mobilized its third-party manufacturers to dispatch 35-ton pallet trucks up to 100 trips. In addition, large-scale excavators, cranes, mobile cranes and auto levels and other large equipment were mobilized, taking 4 months to prepare for the exercise. The “Heavy duty steel support” and “H-steel” used in the exercise weighed up to 465 tons; cement and ready mixed concrete covered up to 200 m3. Observing units included TRA, RRB, Directorate General of Highways, Tainan City Government and CECI Engineering Consultants Inc., which all sent representatives to witness the “post-earthquake bridge emergency repair” large scale exercise held for the first time in Taiwan.