Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Marvin Halling


Marvin Halling


Paul Barr


Steven Folkman


The Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques are gaining popularity among the departments of transportation (DOTs) due to their reductions of on-site construction time and traffic delays. One ABC technique that utilizes precast deck panels has demonstrated some advantages over normal cast-in-place construction, but has also demonstrated some serviceability issues such as cracks and water leakage to the transverse joints. Some of these problems are addressed by applying longitudinal prestressing. This thesis evaluates the service and ultimate capacities in both flexure and shear, of the finite element models of the post-tensioned system currently used by Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and a proposed curved-bolt system to confirm the experimental results. The panels were built and tested under negative moment in order to investigate a known problem, namely, tension in the deck concrete. Shear tests were performed on specimens with geometry designed to investigate the effects of high shear across the joint. The curved-bolt connection not only provides the necessary compressive stress across the transverse joint but also makes future replacement of a single deck panel possible without replacing the entire deck. Load-deflection, shear-deflection curves were obtained using the experimental tests and were used to compare with the values obtained from finite element analysis. In flexure, the ultimate load predicted by the finite element model was lower than the experimental ultimate load by 1% for the post-tensioned connection and 3% for the curved-bolt connection. The shear models predicted the ultimate shear reached, within 5% of the experimental values. The cracking pattern also matched closely. The yield and cracking moment of the curved-bolt connection predicted by the finite element model were lower by 13% and 2%, respectively, compared to the post-tensioned connection in flexure.




This work made publicly available electronically on July 29, 2012.