Performance and Improvement of Texas Poor Boy Continuous Bridge Deck Details

The majority of bridges in Texas are constructed with girders as simple spans. A simple-span deck requires expansion joints which are sources for maintenance and durability issues. To avoid this, continuous decks are an attractive option, however cracks may develop. TxDOT uses a detail that intentionally forms cracks, referred to as the “Texas Poor Boy” detail. Despite a four decade history of such detailing, a comprehensive evaluation of performance of this detailing has not been conducted. Researchers will conduct a multi-tiered survey to identify the performance of the current “Poor Boy” continuous bridge deck details within different environments (high ADT, high rainfall, or high deicing salt zones), as well as a literature and state-of-the practice survey to establish the detailing and expected performance of alternative connection designs. Using the results of these surveys, researchers will develop candidate modifications to the current poor-boy details for new construction and candidate details for rehabilitation of existing bridges.They will use modeling and full-scale experimental tests to assess the performance of the recommended details. The research team will use the results of modeling and experimental to make final recommendations for design methodologies and details.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $727298
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Birely, Anna C

  • Start Date: 20190628
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230831
  • Actual Completion Date: 20230831

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713062
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7013
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 30 2019 2:59PM