Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Rivera, Elias Alexander URN etd-05252012-135136 Title Fatigue Assessment for Failed Bridge Deck Closure Pour Degree Master of Science Department Civil Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Wright, William J. Committee Chair Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L. Committee Member Weyers, Richard E. Committee Member Keywords
- construction joint
- reinforcing steel
- closure pour
- bridge deck
Date of Defense 2012-05-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractAfter 17 years in service, a 3 ft by 3 ft closure pour section of an Interstate 81 (I-81)
bridge deck failed by punching through near Marion, Virginia. Visual inspection noted
that there was considerable corrosion on some of the reinforcing bars in the vicinity of
the construction joint, while other failure bars had little or no corrosion. Sections of the
bridge deck were cut and delivered to Virginia Tech for further investigation.
It was clear from an initial investigation that shrinkage of the deck concrete had caused
the construction joints to open and thereby allow water and chlorides to enter the joint. In
addition, it was observed that several bars across the closure pour construction joints had
suffered significant section loss due to corrosion, but it was not clear if fatigue and
strength failure of the reinforcing bars were also contributing factor in the closure pour
To study the problem four fatigue tests and five strength tests performed. The specimens
included six slab strips cut from the I-81 bridge deck, with the 3-ft closure pour included,
and three additional specimens that were cast in the laboratory to represent a base line for
performance. A three-point loading setup was used for both fatigue and strength tests.
However, for the final strength and fatigue tests, a jacking system was designed and
implemented in an effort to open the closure pour construction joints to simulate the open
joints of the I-81 bridge.
The objectives of this research program are to provide a better understanding of the
closure pour failure mechanism, develop inspection procedures for Virginia Department
of Transportation (VDOT) to assess its bridge inventory containing similar construction
joints, and to develop recommendations for future construction of similar construction
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