Behavior and Strength of Splices for Continuous Prestressed Concrete Girder Bridges

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Title: Behavior and Strength of Splices for Continuous Prestressed Concrete Girder Bridges

Author(s): Mary Beth D. Hueste, John B. Mander, Reza Baie, Anagha S. Parkar, Akshay Parchure, J. Michelle Prouty and Tristan Sarremejane

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 311

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 1-20

Keywords: bridges, connections, continuity, design, post-tensioning, prestressed concrete, spliced girder

Date: 9/1/2016

Abstract:
The span length of precast prestressed concrete girder bridges is typically limited to 140–160 ft (43–49 m) due to handling and transportation restrictions on individual girder segments. Span lengths may be doubled by splicing individual girder segments within the spans to form a continuous bridge. A design for a three-span continuous prototype bridge with a 240 ft (73 m) main span and 190 ft (58 m) end spans using modified Tx70 precast concrete girders has been developed. A full-scale experimental study investigated the performance of the prototype bridge details in the splice region under service and ultimate loads. The tested splice connection details were selected to represent critical design parameters. The splice connections performed well under service level loads. However, the lack of continuity of the pretensioning through the splice connection region had a significant impact on the behavior at higher loads approaching ultimate conditions. Moderate ductility was observed for positive bending with low ductility for negative moment. Ideally, spliced connections should be located in regions of low moment demands, away from the peak positive or negative moments. Improved connection behavior at ultimate conditions is expected through enhanced connection details, and several detailing suggestions are discussed.