State departments of transportation (DOTs) use many different details to make the transition between roadway pavement and bridges. Typically, a section of bridge approach pavement is a specialized pavement area that is reinforced to act as a “jump span” between the roadway pavement and bridge. The bridge approach pavement may be supported by the subgrade or sleeper slabs on roadway side and by a support corbel on the bridge side. In some cases, the approach pavement is mechanically connected to the bridge and in other cases, it is free to move independently of the bridge. Various joint details may also be used where the bridge approach pavement meets the bridge.
The details used in this area must be designed appropriately, be durable to remain as maintenance free as possible, and to provide for a smooth transition from the roadway and bridge. Additionally, water management is a key for the transition from the bridge to the approach pavement. Water running off of the bridge without appropriate transition details may lead to substructure deterioration, foundation deterioration, and undermining of the bridge approach pavement or bridge substructure. Pollution prevention may also be a consideration requiring water to be captured and appropriately dealt with.
The objective of this synthesis is to document DOT practices related to bridge approach pavement and the transition from bridge approach pavement to the bridge. Designs and details will be documented as well.
Information will be gathered through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
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