Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Paul J. Barr


The ultimate shear capacity of prestressed concrete beams is difficult to predict accurately, especially after being in service for an extended period of time. The Utah Department of Transportation asked researchers at Utah State University to experimentally determine the existing shear capacity of 41-year-old prestressed, decommissioned concrete bridge girders and then provide recommendations on how to increase that ultimate shear capacity. This thesis presents the research findings that relate to the existing shear capacity of the prestressed concrete girders. Eight AASHTO Type II bridge girders were tested up to failure by applying external loads near the supports to determine their ultimate shear capacities. The measured results were then compared to calculated values obtained using the AASHTO LRFD bridge design code, and the ACI 318-08 design code. Prestress losses were also measured by means of a cracking test and then compared to values calculated according to the AASHTO prestress loss equations. Both the ultimate shear capacities and the residual prestress forces were used to evaluate the girders after being in service for more than 40 years.




This work was revised and made publicly available electronically on July 28, 2011