Improved Connection Details for Adjacent Prestressed Bridge Beams

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-001

Fiscal Year: 2011/2012

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Carin Roberts-Wollmann, Virginia Tech University, Patrick Szary, Ph.D.

External Author(s): Michael Brown

Sponsor(s): Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, FHWA - RITA


Adjacent precast/prestressed members are commonly used to construct bridges rapidly and economically. Adjacent precast members include box-beams. Voided slabs, and decked bulb-Ts. In typical construction, the members are set adjacent to one another, and some type of shear key between the members is filled with grout. In some cases, the adjacent members are tied together with a nominal amount of post tensioning. Finally, the driving surface is created using either a membrane and asphalt overlay, a thin non-composite overlay, or a thicker composite overlay with welded wire fabric reinforcement. The objective of this project is to develop, model, and test several new connections for adjacent precast members, specifically box-beams, voided slabs, and inverted T-beams.