Structural Performance of a Full-Depth Precast Concrete Bridge Deck System



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Throughout the United States accelerated bridge construction is becoming increasingly popular to meet growing transportation demands while keeping construction time and costs to a minimum. This research focuses on eliminating the need to form full-depth concrete bridge deck overhangs, accelerating the construction of concrete bridge decks, by using full-depth precast prestressed concrete deck panels. Full-depth precast overhang panels in combination with cast-in-place (CIP) reinforced concrete are experimentally and analytically investigated to assess the structural performance. Experimental loaddeformation behavior for factored AASHTO LRFD design load limits is examined followed by the collapse capacity of the panel-to-panel seam that exists in the system. Adequate strength and stiffness of the proposed full-depth panels deem the design safe for implementation for the Rock Creek Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas. New failure theories are derived for interior and exterior bridge deck spans as present code-based predictions provide poor estimates of the ultimate capacity. A compound shear-flexure failure occurs at interior bays between the CIP topping and stay-in-place (SIP) panel. Overhang failure loads are characterized as a mixed failure of flexure on the loaded panel and shear at the panel-to-panel seam. Based on these results design recommendations are presented to optimize the reinforcing steel layout used in concrete bridge decks.