Investigation of the Causes of Transverse Bridge Deck Cracking
Start date: 05/01/14
End date: 06/30/18
Sponsor(s): Iowa Department of Transportation
About the research
There have been multiple recent occurrences of transverse deck cracks occurring shortly after bridge construction. This situation is very problematic because these cracks can provide a direct pathway for the intrusion of water and chlorides. In the worst case, these early-age cracks could lead to a reduced bridge deck service life. In some instances, the development of cracks occurs in only one of twin side-by-side bridges. This situation proves to be very confusing as, on the surface, the two structures should be constructed and behave the same.
The goal of this research is to try to identify factors that consistently lead to the formation of these early-age cracks so that they can be mitigated in the future. To accomplish this, a detailed review of conditions (environmental, structural, material, etc.) needs to be conducted with the goal of identifying factors consistently "in play" when the cracks formed.