The National Academies

NCHRP 12-37 [Completed]

Transverse Cracking in Newly Constructed Bridge Decks

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Assoc., Inc
Principal Investigator: Paul D. Krauss
Effective Date: 1/27/1992
Completion Date: 3/31/1995

The project identified and ranked the factors and combinations of factors pertaining to concrete materials, design details, and construction practices that influence the occurrence of transverse cracking in newly constructed bridge decks, and presented guidance for recommended actions to help reduce or eliminate early deck cracking. Also, a test procedure that can be used to compare the resistance of different concretes to early cracking has been proposed for consideration and adoption by AASHTO as a standard test method.

Many concrete bridge decks develop transverse cracking shortly after construction. These cracks accelerate corrosion of reinforcing steel and lead to concrete deterioration, damage to components beneath the deck, and unsightly appearance. These cracks shorten the service life and increase maintenance costs of bridge structures. There was a need to determine the major factors or combinations of factors that contribute to transverse deck cracking in newly constructed bridge decks, and to recommend guidelines for preventing or reducing the occurrence of such cracking.

Research included a review of relevant domestic and foreign literature, a survey of all U.S. departments of transportation and several foreign agencies, the conduct of analytical studies and laboratory tests, and the collection of field measurements from a bridge structure during and shortly after deck construction. NCHRP Report 380,"Transverse Cracking in Newly Constructed Bridge Decks," documents the work performed under this project.

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