Improved Connection Details for Adjacent Prestressed Bridge Beams

Bridges with adjacent box beams and voided slabs are simply and rapidly constructed, and are well suited to short to medium spans. The traditional connection between the adjacent members is a shear key filled with a conventional non-shrink grout. With time and traffic, many of the joints show signs of cracking and leaking, and eventually, corrosion of the reinforcing and prestressing steel within the beams. The overarching goal of this project was to develop an improved detail for the connection between adjacent members using Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) or Very High Performance Concrete (VHPC). The specific objective of the research presented in this report was to determine the appropriate splice length for No. 4 and No. 6 uncoated reinforcing bars used in a UHPC or VHPC connection. A total of 15 beams were tested to determine the appropriate splice lengths for uncoated No. 4 and No. 6 bars in UHPC and VHPC. The 12 in tall by 10 in wide by 8.5 ft beams were precast with conventional concrete, with a block-out pocket to accommodate a splice. The tension bars were spliced in the pocket, which was then filled with either VHPC or UHPC. The beams were tested to place the splice location in a region of constant moment, and were loaded monotonically to failure. It was found that for an uncoated No. 4 bar in UHPC or VHPC a splice length of 4 in is adequate to develop the yield strength of the bar, but a length of 5 in is recommended to insure ductility. For a No. 6 bar in UHPC a splice length of 5 in is adequate to develop the yield strength, but 6 in is recommended to insure ductility.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Blacksburg, VA  United States  24061

    Rutgers University, Piscataway

    Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, 100 Brett Road
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854-8058

    Virginia Department of Transportation


    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Roberts-Wollmann, Carin
    • Cousins, Tommy
    • Halbe, Kedar
    • Field, Carrie
  • Publication Date: 2015-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 71p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01570360
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CAIT-UTC-001
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC16
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2015 8:34AM