Behavior of Ontario-Type Bridge Decks on Steel Girders

I.-K. Fang, J. A. Worley, N. H. Burns, and R. E. Klingner


An experimental and analytical investigation was conducted regarding the behavior of reinforced concrete bridge decks designed in accordance with the Ontario Highway Bridge Deck Design provisions. Detailed finite element models of the specimen were developed for both the cast in place and precast deck cases. Cracking of the deck was followed using a smeared cracking model. Results predicted by analytical models correlated well with experimental observations. In brief, the following conclusions were reached: (1) a full-scale bridge deck (both cast-in-place and precast), detailed in accordance with the Ontario Highway Bridge Design provisions and having about 60 percent of the reinforcement required by the current AASHTO code, performed satisfactorily under current AASHTO design load levels; (2) under service and overload conditions (about three times the current AASHTO design wheel load) the behavior of the deck slab was essentially linear, and was not affected by fatigue loading, nor by the presence of midspan diaphragms or additional diaphragms; (3) analytical predictions and experimental results agreed closely, showing that the analytical models of the bridge specimen are satisfactory, and can be extended to other bridge configurations; and (4) compressive membrane forces did not significantly affect the performance of the bridge at loads below cracking. The effects of arching action on the ultimate capacity of the bridge deck are discussed in further reports for the project.

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