Application of Precast Decks and Other Elements to Bridge Structures

Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 3:45pm

About the Event

A number of countries, including the U.S. and France, have incorporated precast components in bridge superstructures and substructures. One benefit of using precast elements is the high level of quality control that can be achieved in the plant compared to field-cast operations. Another benefit is the speed of construction: unlike cast-in-place construction, which requires time-consuming forming and casting on site, precast elements just need assembly. Connection details include post-tensioning systems, weld plates, studs in grout pockets, shear keys, and interlocking reinforcement.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) is constructing two bridges with precast elements to enable rapid construction. One of the bridges is being instrumented to monitor the behavior of the bridge and to investigate potential reflective cracking between precast sections and continuity over the pier. These connection elements are key in the application of precast concrete to bridge structures. Simultaneously, four precast test sections will be instrumented and tested at the University of Minnesota Structures Lab to investigate potential changes to the precast section design. This talk will highlight the innovative features of the bridge and instrumentation design, with special attention to the newly conceived precast inverted T-sections.


Carol Shield, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering