Flawed Assumptions: Why Bridge Deck Joints Fail

by Martin P. Burke, Jr., Bridge Consultant; Burgess & Niple, Ltd.. 5085 Reed Road, Columbus, OH 43220,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 11, Pg. 60-62

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers should continually examine, evaluate and improve their representations of reality to avoid basing their beliefs, decisions, practices and policies on flawed assumptions. Such assumptions, not necessarily the devices themselves, are responsible for the failure of bridge deck joints. Improving these basic assumptions will improve the performance of individuals responsible for design and ultimately improve the performance and durability of bridge deck joints. The key is to distinguish between the ideal and the real. Improving the human element will improve the entire chain of concepts, details, specifications, policies and, ultimately, bridge longevity.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Bridge failures | Joints | Bridge design | Basins | Failure analysis | Structural failures | Human factors

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