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Mid-America Transportation Center

Methods for Removing Concrete Decks from Bridge Girders

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Brent Phares (bphares@iastate.edu 515-294-5879)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Jennifer Shane (jsshane@iastate.edu 515-294-1703)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    With ever tightening budgets, states are looking for cost-effective methods of extending the duration from initial bridge construction to complete replacement. One common technique that serves this purpose is to replace the deck after the end of its useful service life has been reached while keeping the original superstructure and substructure. That is, assuming that the superstructure and substructure still have adequate strength and remaining life. For this approach to be successfully accomplished, it is critical that the deck is removed without damaging the superstructure elements. Even more, as the deck is often removed in large pieces, it is important to prevent concrete from falling below the bridge, especially where a roadway passes beneath. The objective of the work proposed herein is to determine the most, and/or develop new, cost-effective and efficient deck removal techniques for steel and concrete superstructure bridges. The following criteria will be considered as part of the evaluation: Impact on the future performance of the superstructure, cost, time, safety, and noise. Further, the work proposed herein will include guidance on assessing and repairing girders that are damaged during removal of a deck.
    Research Objective
    The objective of this work is to determine the most, and/or develop new, cost-effective and efficient deck removal techniques for steel and prestressed concrete superstructure bridges. Further, the work proposed herein will include guidance on assessing and repairing steel girders that are damaged during removal of a deck. The following criteria will be considered as part of the evaluation: Impact on the future performance of the superstructure, Cost, Time, Safety, and Noise.
    Potential Benefits
    At the conclusion of this project, a suite of tools will exist that will allow bridge owners to make informed decisions regarding the removal of concrete decks from bridges. The outcomes of this work will be immediately implementable as standards of practice will be developed.
    Abstract
    With ever tightening budgets, states are looking for cost-effective methods of extending the duration from initial bridge construction to complete replacement. One common technique that serves this purpose is to replace the deck after the end of its useful service life has been reached while keeping the original superstructure and substructure. That is, assuming that the superstructure and substructure still have adequate strength and remaining life. For this approach to be successfully accomplished, it is critical that the deck is removed without damaging the superstructure elements. Even more, as the deck is often removed in large pieces, it is important to prevent concrete from falling below the bridge, especially where a roadway passes beneath. The objective of the work proposed herein is to determine the most, and/or develop new, cost-effective and efficient deck removal techniques for steel and concrete superstructure bridges. The following criteria will be considered as part of the evaluation: Impact on the future performance of the superstructure, cost, time, safety, and noise. Further, the work proposed herein will include guidance on assessing and repairing girders that are damaged during removal of a deck.
    Project Amount
    $ 46,866.42