Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 51-02. Design and Construction Practices for Durability, Ride, and Water Management of Bridge Approach Systems

State departments of transportation (DOTs) use many different details to make the transition between roadway pavement and bridges. Typically, a section of bridge approach pavement is a specialized pavement area that is reinforced to act as a “jump span” between the roadway pavement and bridge. The bridge approach pavement may be supported by the subgrade or sleeper slabs on the roadway side and by a support corbel on the bridge side. In some cases, the approach pavement is mechanically connected to the bridge and in other cases, it is free to move independently of the bridge. Various joint details may also be used where the bridge approach pavement meets the bridge. The details used in this area must be designed and constructed appropriately to be durable, to remain as maintenance free as possible, and to provide a smooth transition from the roadway and bridge. Additionally, water management is a key consideration for the transition from the bridge to the approach pavement. Water running off of the bridge without appropriate transition details may lead to substructure deterioration, foundation deterioration, and undermining of the bridge approach pavement or bridge substructure. Pollution prevention may also be a consideration requiring water to be captured and appropriately dealt with. While DOTs have their own design and construction practices for bridge approach systems, agencies continue to experience inconsistent bridge approach performance. The objective of this synthesis is to document DOT practices related to bridge approach systems. The synthesis will focus on documenting practices shown to provide smooth ride, long life, and minimal maintenance.


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  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 51-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Gause, Jo

  • Performing Organizations:

    Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Incorporated

    330 Pfingsten Road
    Northbrook, IL  United States  60062
  • Principal Investigators:

    ElBatanouny, Mohamed

  • Start Date: 20190912
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01704604
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 51-02
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 13 2019 3:09PM