Texas's Totally Prefabricated Bridge Superstructures

The Texas Department of Transportation (Texas DOT) has developed two new bridge superstructure systems that have maximum span lengths of 115 ft and a total superstructure depth of only 38 in. and are totally prefabricated: a steel tub girder and a prestressed concrete pretopped U-beam. The steel tub-girder system uses a conventional prefabricated trapezoidal steel girder, which is topped by a concrete slab before transport to the bridge site. To achieve the shallow superstructure depth of 38 in., shoring the beams during slab placement makes them composite for all loads. After slab placement, the beam is hauled to the bridge site and erected on the bridge piers. A simple cast-in-place closure pour joins the deck girder sections after they are in place. The prestressed concrete pretopped U-beams use a portion of the existing Texas U-beam form system. Each beam is fabricated as a closed U-beam and hauled to the contractor's yard, where a 4-in. topping is placed before beam erection. A cast-in-place closure pour joins the deck girder sections after erection. Texas DOT anticipates that these two systems will be used over the next 10 years for the rapid construction of nearly 150 bridges that cross I-35 in central Texas. Construction of the first four such structures begins in spring 2005. It is expected that girder erection and closure-pour placement will take less than 24 h and that bridges will open to traffic after as few as 4 days.


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  • Accession Number: 01002501
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309093813
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 22 2005 9:32AM