Performance Specification for Bridge Deck Joint Sealing Systems


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Title: Performance Specification for Bridge Deck Joint Sealing Systems

Author(s): Arthur Linfante

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70


Appears on pages(s): 279-290

Keywords: bridge decks; bridges (structures); installing; joint sealers; joints (junctions); performance; quality control; specifications; structural design.

Date: 1/1/1981

A performance specification, although an unconventional approach, can be an effective way to insure that only high quality bridge deck joint sealing systems are designed and selected for use. History of the past decade, when these systems were first used to seal the gap between moving bridge ends, has shown that the systems have not always been as durable as they need be to fulfill their intended function over the life span of the bridge. Disappointing results can be attributed in part to the relative newness of their application and unfamiliarity of the producers with the demands of the task. More importantly, short-comings can be traced to a selection procedure which relies mainly upon low initial cost rather than quality. Without the application of uniform standards by which to measure performance, there can be no means to judge the relative merits of candidate systems. A well-designed performance specification can meet this need. Although it would be desirable to force producers to guarantee their system's quality over the long term, the concept is contractually and practically untenable. A specification embodying performance criteria for products to comply with prior to, and just after installation, can go a long way to insure that only systems having a good chance of success are selected.