Bridge Deck Evaluation Using Portable Seismic Pavement Analyzer (PSPA)

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CAIT project no.: FHWA NJ 2000 005 (CAIT 26)

Fiscal Year: 1998/1999

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Nenad Gucunski, Ali Maher

External Author(s): Nicholas Vitillo



The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the capabilities of the Portable Seismic Pavement Analyzer (PSPA) device to evaluate the bridge deck elastic moduli and the deck thickness, and to detect and quantify concrete bridge deck delamination.

The PSPA is a device for nondestructive evaluation of concrete bridge decks and pavements developed at the University of Texas at El Paso and produced by Geomedia Research and Development, Inc., El Paso, Texas. The PSPA device was designed and constructed as an extension result of the development of the Seismic Pavement Analyzer (SPA) for the sole purpose to provide information about the top layer of the pavement or a bridge deck. Primary applications of the device are in quality assurance/quality control of the top pavement layer, void detection, bridge deck delamination, and monitoring of concrete curing. To conduct these tasks, the PSPA relies on two ultrasonic methods in material characterization, and impact echo (IE) method in defect detection. The PSPA, with its ability for high level diagnosis of bridge decks, presents an essential tool to transportation and bridge engineers in administration and management of concrete deck bridges, i.e. in proper planning of their repair and rehabilitation.