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RE: void drains

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Drain holes (3/4" dia.) are provided at the ends of voids in precast beams to allow water to escape that may enter due to condensation or other reasons such as infiltration through cracks in the top of beam.  Water in the void could damage the beam due to freezing and thawing.
Some bridge deck beam fabricators provide small vent holes in the top of beams.  These holes should be plugged before placing beam in service to keep water out of the void.
Some fabricators form the voids with heavy "cardboard" material either circular or rectangular.  Others use a solid, dense styrofoam material to form the void.  This material should be waterproof and will eliminate the problem of water getting into the void area on bridge beams.
-----Original Message-----
From: Candi Anderson [mailto:canderson(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 2:44 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: void drains

I’m looking for anyone who might have information regarding the use/purpose of void drains in precast/prestressed concrete voided beams.  I see these in some details and am not familiar with their use.


Thanks for any input.


Candi Anderson, P.E.