NCHRP 24-38 Payload Project - Development of Bridge Girder Movement Criteria for Accelerated Bridge Construction

It was observed after the 2010 Chile Earthquake that the bridges with full-depth end diaphragms always performed well. Partial-depth end diaphragms sometimes caused transverse shear block or lateral fracture failures of reinforced concrete (RC) girders. The bridges with no end diaphragms and no concrete teeth on cap beams suffered more damage. However, a number of bridges with no end diaphragms but with concrete teeth on a cap beam survived the earthquake with no significant damage except for local spalling at the concrete teeth due to the earthquake-induced pounding effect. The above observations from the real-world bridge constructions indicated that bridge superstructures with no end diaphragms but with concrete teeth between girders are a potential alternative to the well-understood superstructures with end diaphragms. The key to make this no-diaphragm concept work is to understand how multiple girders work together during a transverse earthquake excitation or how much relative deformation they can tolerate without breaking the girders and bridge deck. The proposed payload project represents the first feasibility study towards this direction. It can greatly benefit the U.S. and beyond in terms of understanding of the seismic behavior of accelerated bridge construction connections between precast girders and thus cost effectiveness of rapid bridge constructions. The main objective of the payload project is to develop bridge girder movement criteria in a multi-girder superstructure of bridges for accelerated bridge construction in seismic region. Specifically, a representative real-world, multi-girder highway bridge in Missouri will be analyzed and critical tolerances of the relative movement between steel or RC girders will be quantified, corresponding to the strength limits of girders and the bridge deck due to lateral loads. Two three-girder superstructures with steel I-girders and RC girders supported on a cap beam with pedestals (teeth) in between the girders will be built and tested under a slowly-increasing, pseudostatic load in order to validate the numerically determined critical tolerant movement between steel girders.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $229887.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    The National Academies

    500 Fifth St, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Chen, Genda

  • Start Date: 20121201
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131230
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33602

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01534932
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0014, 00040815
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2014 1:01AM