Bienvenidos a Tijuana




Bienvenidos a Tijuana

The ability of a new section of elevated highway in Tijuana, Mexico to survive strong earthquakes has been ensured by equipping it with suitably designed seismic isolators and expansion joints
To improve access in the future to the airport of the Mexican city of Tijuana, a new elevated highway of length 170 m excluding approaches has recently been constructed along the airport’s eastern perimeter, passing over the junction with the Boulevard de las Bellas Artes. Just a few hundred metres from the United States border and the city of San Diego, the structure is located in a highly seismic zone. Resulting from the necessary seismic analysis and design, it was concluded that the structure would need specially designed key components – bearings and expansion joints – to enable it to survive earthquakes of the type that might be expected.

To isolate the superstructure from destructive ground movements, it is supported by RESTON®PENDULUM seismic isolators, two at each pier or abutment, designed for loads of up to 4,000 kN and movements of up to +/-300 mm. These are of the Duplo variety, with two curved sliding interfaces accommodated displacements (plus one for rotation). The design and functioning of both the Duplo and Mono varieties are shown in this video of performance testing.

To enable the bridge’s TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints – already very flexible due to their non-rigid design – to survive a strong earthquake, they were designed not only for longitudinal movements of 400 mm, but also for transverse movements of +/- 200 mm.

With these high-quality seismic isolation bearings and highly flexible expansion joints used in its construction, this new structure can be sure to survive even the most severe earthquakes that might be expected in the Tijuana / San Diego region.


Section through 3D image of a RESTON®PENDULUM Duplo seismic isolator showing its three curved sliding interfaces – the upper and lower ones primarily facilitating displacements, and the one in the middle accommodating rotations


Drawing showing section through a RESTON®PENDULUM Duplo seismic isolator in normal service condition


Drawing showing section through a RESTON®PENDULUM Duplo seismic isolator during a seismic event with large horizontal displacement


Unlike RESTON®PENDULUM seismic isolators of the Duplo variety, those of the Mono variety (such as that shown here during assembly) have only one curved sliding interface for accommodating displacements


A RESTON®PENDULUM seismic isolator as installed


Transportation of the bridge’s five-gap TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints to site, safe and secure in a shipping container


Picture of installed expansion joint, as visible from the underside of bridge


Lifting a section of steel superstructure onto the seismic isolators that will support and protect it


Two RESTON®PENDULUM seismic isolators support the superstructure at each pier or abutment


A RESTON®PENDULUM seismic isolator as fabricated, designed for a load of 4,000 kN and movements of +/-300 mm along all axes