Jointless Redecking

by Phillip Pierce, (M.ASCE), Manager; Structures Dept., EMJ/McFarland Johnson Engineers, Binghamton, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 9, Pg. 60-61

Document Type: Feature article


If you're redecking a bridge, why not eliminate a major cause of its corrosion at the same time? Why not remove the expansion joints? The Department of Public Works in Steuben County, N.Y. thought that made sense. So, when planning the redecking of the 42 year old bridge that crosses the Tioga River, they waived a formal cost analysis of the joint removal and ordered it done. The savings were obvious. Initial construction would cost less (no need for fabrication and installation of three new bridge and bridge railing joints), as would long term maintenance (no more leaks from joint seals that damage stringer ends, diaphragms, bearings and the tops of piers). The county assigned EMJ/McFarland Engineers, Inc., Binghamton, N.Y., the task of determining how to eliminate the joints and create a continuous-slab system. They recommended splicing the bridge's four 100 ft spans of simply supported steel wide-flange stringers at the piers, in the same way that prestressed concrete beams are made continuous for live load—without expensive modifications. The present bearing arrangements were retained. The desired strength was derived without strenthening the stringers. The deck detail at the abutments was replaced with an arrangement similar to the existing one.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure construction | Joints | Professional societies | Railroad bridges | Piers | Steel bridges | Concrete beams | Continuous beams

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