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Remove Weld Backing Bar, ASCE 31 Review

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Hi, 

I am reviewing moment frames built in 1984 for ASCE 31 seismic
evaluation.  The  columns are W14x90 and the girders are W24x76. Full
pent. welds were used to connect the flanges--9" W x0.688" T, to the
column.  It went through the 89 Loma Prieta Earthquake about 80 miles
south of this building without noticable damages.

The new Seismic Provisions recommends the backing bars to be removed
on all new constructions.  However, I don't have a strong feeling on
whether to ask for the funding to expose the backing bars or not.

What are your recommendations?

Thanks

Sam

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