Rehabilitation of Longitudinal Joints in Double-Tee Bridge Girders

In a recent S\outh Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) research project (SD2013-01), which was co-funded by SDDOT and the Mountain Plains Consortium (MPC) University Transportation Center, South Dakota State University (SDSU) researchers investigated the development of a new longitudinal joint detailing for improved performance of double-tee girder bridge systems. The researchers tested at the Lohr Structures Lab two full-scale 23″ deep double-tee girder bridge system specimens under fatigue loading. The fatigue load was determined in accordance with American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) specifications (AASHTO, 2012). The objective of the tests was to determine the long term performance of longitudinal joints built according to the current standard detailing and to an alternative proposed detailing. The fatigue test results revealed severe inadequacy of the standard joint and exceptional performance of the proposed joint. The standard joint started to leak at the equivalent of 4 years in service and the first weld failure in a joint connection occurred at the equivalent of 12 years of service. Most of the welded connections failed at the equivalent of 16 years in service. On the other hand, the specimen with the proposed joint detailing was subjected to fatigue loading equivalent to more than 100 years of service without showing any significant joint or stiffness degradation (Konrad, 2014). Currently, there are hundreds of double tee bridges on South Dakota highways that were built using the standard joint detailing. Based on observed field performance and test results, those bridges may be deteriorating at a fast rate and their useful lifespan may be much shorter than the expected 50-75 years. While new bridges can be built using the proposed joint detailing developed under project SD2013-01, replacing the currently existing deficient bridges would be cost- prohibitive. Therefore, a cost-effective retrofit to upgrade the joints of existing bridges would be an attractive alternative to replacing deficient bridges and extending the life span of existing bridges.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $160000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    P.O. Box 6050, Department 2880
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    South Dakota State University
    Brookings, SD  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wehbe, Nadim

  • Start Date: 20150819
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-500

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579739
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2015 5:27PM