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A simplified rational method is developed to evaluate transverse earthquake-induced forces incontinuous bridges. This method models the bridge as a beam on elastic foundation, and assumes asinusoidal curve for both vibration mode shape and deflected shape in the transverse direction. Theprinciple of minimum total potential is used to calculate the displacements and the earthquake-inducedforces in the transverse direction. This method is concise and easy to apply, and hence, offers an attractivealternative to a lengthy and time consuming three dimensional modeling of the bridge as given byAASHTO under its Single Mode Spectral Analysis Method.