Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Paul J. Barr


This research embodied a three-prong approach for directly determining the residual prestress force of prestressed concrete bridge girders. For bridges that have yet to be constructed, outfitting girders with instrumentation is a highly effective means of determining residual prestress force in prestressed concrete bridge girders. This constitutes the first prong. Still, many bridges are constructed without such instrumentation. For these bridges, a destructive technique can be used to directly determine the residual prestress in a prestressed concrete bridge girder. This implies that the girder(s) being tested have already been taken out of service. This constitutes the second prong.

For bridges that are anticipated to remain in service that are lacking embedded instrumentation, the development of a non-destructive technique used to estimate the remaining force in the tendons of prestressed bridge girders is extremely important. This constitutes the third prong used to directly determine residual prestress force. The flexural capacity was also determined from field tests and compared to analytical estimates. By design, the code estimates are meant to be conservative. Alternatively, the residual prestress force for in-service members can be determined directly through the non-destructive technique presented in this research. As such, bridge service capacities can be determined directly and do not need to be conservatively estimated. (231 pages)


Release of work delayed for one year.