Design Procedures for Prestressed Concrete Bridge Decks

R. W. Poston, A. R. Phipps, J. E. Breen, and R. L. Carrasquillo


The objective of this study is to investigate the use of deck prestressing as a method of improving durability of bridge decks with the aim of developing suggested AASHTO Specification design requirements to facilitate its use.

In previous reports in this series, the idea of improving durability of bridge decks by prestressing was introduced as a design concept. The results from an experimental test serires of prestressed concrete specimens subjected to an aggresive deicing salt exposure and from an experimental and analytical investigation of the structural behavior of a fully composite slab-girder bridge model indicated that deck prestressing is a viable corrosion-protection design alternative. It has already been used in numerous box girder bridges to improve structural efficiency.

Specific recommendations for improving durability of bridge decks by deck prestressing and for proper design of deck prestressing are included in this report. These recommendations are presented in a form suitable for inclusion in the AASHTO Bridge Specifications. Several design examples are included to illustrate the design recommendations and to compare costs to current bridge deck designs using conventional reinforced concrete.

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