About the research
Bridge deck expansion joints allow for the movement of bridge decks exposed to thermal expansion and dynamic loading. These joints are often one of the first components of a bridge deck to fail, and there is a need for accelerated replacement options, especially in areas with high traffic volumes. Extensive research is being conducted on accelerated bridge construction (ABC) initiatives to reduce lane closure time. However, less attention has been devoted to accelerated repair and replacement of bridge deck expansion joints.
This project developed methods for the accelerated replacement of bridge deck expansion joints, beginning with a literature review. The combination of a stainless steel railing and ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) header with hydrodemolition was evaluated for its effectiveness as an accelerated option.
A life-cycle cost analysis with a sensitivity study compared the proposed replacement to current practices and two alternative methods. This analysis revealed that,for bridges with a life of greater than 50 years, the proposed replacement was the most cost-effective option.
The proposed replacement joint also underwent bonding, static, and fatigue testing. Hydrodemolition was also used in the replacement process of the testing. These tests indicated that the joint system utilizing hydrodemolition produces an excellent bond with the existing concrete. The static and fatigue testing revealed the joint system meets department of transportation (DOT)standards and would likely have a long service life.