Strength & Serviceability of Damaged Prestressed Girders

Prestressed concrete girders can be vulnerable to damage. The top flanges of girders can be damaged during the deck removal process of deck replacement projects. Prestressed girders can be damaged by vehicle impacts to the bottom flanges. Prompt, well-informed decisions need to be made when pre-stressed girders are damaged. These decisions may have a significant impact on safety, roadway operations and financial budgets. When assessing damage, the following concerns may be evaluated: (1) closure of roadways (2) emergency removal of a girder; (3) remaining structural capacity and strength of the bridge; (4) durability and expected long-term performance of repairs; and (5) replacement of the entire bridge. Often, decisions are based on experience and approximate methods of analysis; but, evaluations should also consider: (1) operational factors, such as girder stresses and deflections, and how they effect a repair; (2) actual load distribution and function of a girder/bridge system; (3) ;oad paths for movement and shear forces that may no longer be as designed; and (4) potential complexity and uncertainty of secondary load paths. The research for this study will include: (1) literature review and assessment of current practices in other state departments of transportation (DOTs); (2) field review and evaluation of case studies of damaged girders to quantify the nature of the damage; (3) analysis of the girder/bridge systems to determine the structural load distribution mechanisms; (4) review of current industry repair methods; and (5) review of past damaged girder repair to determine performance. This study will develop recommendations and guidelines for the inspection, evaluation, and repair (or other safety and operational responses) of damaged girders. Recommendations will be offered for the most common type and extent of damage encountered in Wisconsin for use by field inspection staff, bridge structural engineers, and contractors.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $167218
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    4802 Sheboygan Avenue
    Madison, WI  United States  53707
  • Project Managers:

    Bonk, Aaron

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    College of Engineering & Applied Science
    3200 North Cramer Street
    Milwaukee, WI  United States  53217
  • Principal Investigators:

    Tabatabai, Habib

  • Start Date: 20161015
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181031
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01622256
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0092-17-02
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 9 2017 3:16PM