Bridge Response due to Temperature Variations

The inclusion of uniform temperature effects for bridges has traditionally been incorporated in design by allowing for expansion and contraction through the utilization of bearings and joints or deformations of the piers and abutments in the case of integral abutment construction. However, as a result of the growth in the multi-modal transportation system, more complex and longer-span bridges are now being constructed, requiring new material technologies and design methodologies. These modern bridges are increasing the necessity for accurate accounting of thermal effects to achieve the desired in-service performance. In general, temperature effects not only include these uniform changes but also changes in temperature gradients throughout the day. A vertical nonlinear temperature gradient over the height of the bridge cross section is caused by the relatively low thermal conductivity of the concrete deck and the variation of ambient temperature magnitudes with time. This nonlinear temperature gradient induces longitudinal stresses over the height of each of the girders across the width of the bridge that can lead to cracking and unacceptable service conditions if not taken into account properly.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation

    Rutgers University
    100 Brett Rd
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854-8058

    Utah Department of Transportation

    4501 South 2700 West
    Project Development
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States  84114-8380
  • Project Managers:

    Szary, Pat

    Scovil, Russ

  • Performing Organizations:

    Utah State University Transportation Center

    Utah State University
    Logan, UT  United States  84322-4110
  • Principal Investigators:

    Barr, Paul

  • Start Date: 20130701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20141030
  • Source Data: RiP Project 34926

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543482
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC16, CAIT-UTC-034
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 15 2014 1:01AM