Application of Precast Decks and other Elements to Bridge Structures

Principal Investigator(s):

Cathy French, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Carol Shield, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

A number of countries, including the U.S. and France, have incorporated pre-cast components in bridge superstructures and substructures. Pre-cast components include deck, abutment, and wall elements. Benefits of using pre-cast elements in bridge construction include the high level of quality control that can be achieved in plant cast production compared to field cast operations, and speed of construction afforded by the assembly of pre-cast elements at the site rather than the time-consuming on-site forming and casting required in cast-in-place construction. Key components in the application of pre-cast concrete to bridge structures are the connection elements. Connection details include the use of post-tensioning systems, and various connection details such as weld plates, studs in grout pockets, and shear keys. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to construct a bridge incorporating pre-cast elements to enable rapid construction. The objective of this study is to develop a plan to purchase and install instruments that enable investigation of the performance of the bridge.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2005035
  • Start date: 11/2004
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Bridge design and sensing

Reports or Products: