Brent Pharesbphares@iastate.edu email >
Bridge Research Engineer, BEC
About the research
The Iowa DOT has long recognized that the approach slab pavement at integral abutment bridges is prone to exhibiting both settlement and cracking, which manifest itself as the “bump at the end of the bridge.” This settlement requires considerable ongoing maintenance expenditures, creates a negative public perception of the highway system, and shortens the useful life of the bridge in question. It is also recognized that effectively addressing the settlement and cracking problems requires solutions that address both the structural and geotechnical bridge attributes. A recent Iowa Highway Research Board project developed a methodology for connecting the approach slap to the bridge abutment. That work provided much behavior information that was case specific. This work will seek to supplement the “force” information from the previous project by instrumenting, monitoring, and analyzing the behavior of an approach slab tied to an integral abutment bridge in Bremer County.