Sponsor: Texas Department of Transportation

PI: Todd Helwig
Co-PI's: Oguzhan Bayrak, Michael Engelhardt

One of the leading causes contributing to structural deficiency in the United States Bridge Inventory is related to deterioration and durability issues with concrete bridge decks. The primary factor that affects the durability of the concrete deck is cracking, which provides a direct conduit for moisture and other corrosive agents to penetrate the concrete and degrade the reinforcing steel. The area of the bridge where deck cracking is most predominant is in the negative moment region where the concrete is subjected to tensile stresses from girder flexure. One of the problems faced by designers is the lack of clear guidance in the AASHTO LRFD Specifications on the reinforcing requirements in the concrete deck. The vague AASHTO LRFD Commentary language for continuous steel girders as well as the lack of provisions for continuous prestressed concrete girders results in a complicated situation for engineers that creates overly-conservative or unconservative conditions depending on how an engineer interprets the specification and commentary. This research project will develop comprehensive guidelines for deck reinforcing steel details in the negative moment regions of bridges utilizing precast, prestressed concrete panels (PCPs). The primary focus is on continuous prestressed concrete girder systems, however; this project will also develop improved guidance for continuous steel girder systems.