600 Crack-Free Bridges Using Shrinkage Compensating Concrete


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Title: 600 Crack-Free Bridges Using Shrinkage Compensating Concrete

Author(s): Ed McLean, Chris Ramseyer, and Seth Roswurm

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 307


Appears on pages(s): 1-14

Keywords: Bridges, cracking control, decks, drying shrinkage, shrinkage compensating concrete

Date: 3/1/2016

In the modern transportation industry, nearly all bridge decks are constructed of concrete. Of the concrete bridge decks currently in service across the US, almost all contain large numbers of cracks. These cracks are the bane of deck longevity. They allow the ingress of salts that cause corrosion of the reinforcing steel, exacerbating concrete cracking and loss of structural capacity. A survey conducted several years ago by Folliard et al. (2004) for the FHWA found that more than 100,000 bridges suffered from early-age cracking. This paper presents a case study of bridge decks in Ohio and Michigan that are essentially crack-free. Some of these bridge decks are located on high volume highways/interstates and are up to 30 years of age. In addition, several of these bridges have adjacent standard Portland cement concrete sister bridges built at the same time, with identical spans and construction details handling traffic flowing in the opposite direction. Comparison of these bridges offers unique insight into a simple, effective solution for mitigation of bridge deck cracking.