Multi-beam bridges, constructed from precast and prestressed concrete bulb tee sections, were evaluated through field observations and analyzed using the finite element method. Approximately 50 bridges were inspected in the states of Washington and Idaho, and data for over 100 bulb tee systems was obtained for evaluation. Personnel interviewed from agencies constructing these bridges were very accepting of the bulb tee bridge system. Their reasons for this acceptance included the ease of erection, low installation costs, and low maintenance costs. The field observations of existing bridges revealed some problems. Most of these problems have been eliminated in later designs by careful follow up work carried out by the producers and most agencies. Cost data on 81 bridges showed that the average cost per square foot of deck has been reduced by about 50 percent since 1963. Several finite element models were utilized to investigate the effect of the lateral load transfer devices. These analyses served to quantitatively illustrate the major role played by both the weld tie plate and the grout keyway in transferring the load laterally; furthermore the calculations revealed that a relatively minor amount of stiffness is contributed to the system by the diaphragms.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, Idaho Division, Boise, Idaho.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Idaho, Moscow

    Department of Civil Engineering
    P.O. Box 441022
    Moscow, ID  United States  83844-1022
  • Authors:
    • Sack, R L
  • Publication Date: 1975-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 61 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130550
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-75- 84 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1976 12:00AM