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RE: Bridge Expansion Joint Elimination

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Please clarify your question. Are you referring to removal of expansion
joints from existing steel plate girder bridges, or design of new bridges
without expansion joints?

If the former, I know this has been done in Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin and Utah.
Also, the Texas DOT, designs new simple-span prestressed I-girder bridges
without deck joints.  Elimination of existing deck joints would be a similar
situation.  I have also seen abutment joints removed from bridges by casting
a concrete end diaphragm to encase the girder ends.  This can be done as a
rehab without rebuilding the entire abutment by casting the end diaphragm on
bearings on the original bearing seat, eliminating the back wall, and
casting a new approach slab integral with the new end diaphragm.  The
expansion must then be taken up at the end of the approach slab.  This can
be done with a sleeper slab and an asphalt  "joint". 

If the latter: Expansion joints are routinely eliminated over piers for
steel plate girder bridges. Elimination of expansion joints at abutments is
done less frequently, but is still common.  Tennessee has been a leader in
extending the distance between deck expansion joints on steel bridges and
using integral abutments. I recall seeing an article nearly ten years ago
about a steel plate girder structure in Tennessee with a total length
between expansion joints of over 2000 feet. But they are certainly not the
only ones. Ohio has also been using integral abutments for steel bridges for
ten years or more.  Where a jointless deck is used with continuous girders,
then additional reinforcement is typically added to the deck to resist
negative moments as part of a composite section including both the girder
and the deck.  The AISC Marketing Highway Structures Design Handbook has
good examples.

Martin P. Burke of Burgess and Niple in Columbus, OH and Ed Wasserman of
Tennessee DOT have both written several articles on the subject of jointless
steel bridges and removal of joints from existing steel bridges.  See
"Transportation Research Record 1275, Integral Bridges" by Burke.  This has
a good bibliography.  Also see "Modern Steel Construction, July-August 1990;
and NCHRP Synthesis 141 "Bridge Deck Joints".

Tony Powers
HDR Engineering, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Glen Buchanan [SMTP:TPWDOM#c#TPWDOM.TPWPUR#c#BUCHANGL(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Friday, March 19, 1999 4:45 AM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.ORG
> Subject:	Bridge Expansion Joint Elimination
> Does anyone have information and/or details on the elimination of pier or
> abutment expansion joints on steel plate girder bridges?
> If the deck is to be continuous over the pier, what are the factors
> involved in determining the amount and extent of reinforcing in the slab?
> Glen Buchanan, P.Eng.
> Nova Scotia DOT