Instrumenting the `Y'

by Carin L. Roberts, (S.M.ASCE), Grad. Res. Asst.; University of Texas, Austin, TX,
John E. Breen, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; University of Texas, Austin, TX,
Patrick M. Bachman, Computer Programmer; Texas DOT, Austin, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 11, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


Segmental bridges are still relatively new to the U.S. and questions persist about their design and behavior. To expand the knowledge base, a number of laboratory and field studies have been conducted. One of the most ambitious is under way in San Antonio, where researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and engineers at Texas DOT are studying the behavior of a major segmental bridge project—the San Antonio Y. The San Antonio Y is named after the shape formed by the intersection of Interstates 10 and 35. The six-phase, $350 million project increases the roadway width from two lanes in each direction to four or more in most locations. A trapezoidal box girder with long cantilever wings was selected as the design method for the first phase of construction and has been carried through the remaining five phases with slight differences in tendon configurations and box shapes. The sixth and final phase of the project has been instrumented. Data collection will continue until the summer of 1993. The data not only will offer a performance evaluation of the Y spans but may also provide insight into the effectiveness of various instrumentation methods on segmental bridges. More importantly, the project could play a role in reshaping the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Guide Specification for the Design and Construction of Segmental Concrete Bridge. The guide was developed in 1989, but it is quite frank in indicating those aspects of the specification that would benefit from further research.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Infrastructure construction | Concrete bridges | Structural behavior | Laboratory tests | Construction methods | Data collection | Highway and road design | Texas | United States

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